Tuesday 27 September 2016

Girls cross swords with boys for Young Scientist prize

Published 06/01/2016 | 02:30

Competing students Shane Curran, 15, from Terenure College, Alexandra Kenny, 14, (left) and Eve Healy, 14, both from Santa Sabina Dominican College. Photo: PA
Competing students Shane Curran, 15, from Terenure College, Alexandra Kenny, 14, (left) and Eve Healy, 14, both from Santa Sabina Dominican College. Photo: PA

Have no fear that girls are struggling to come to grips with STEM subjects like maths and science.

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Organisers of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition have revealed that 60pc of the contestants at the world-class event, which opens today, are female students with entries in all categories across the board.

The prestigious event gets under way at the RDS in Dublin and will open to the public tomorrow, with some 550 projects - covering all aspects of life - on display.

More than 60,000 visitors, young and old, are expected to attend over the course of the event, which finishes on Saturday.

BT Ireland managing director, Shay Walsh said that, as ever, he was "humbled" by the standard of projects on display at the event and said there should be no worries for girls in STEM subjects.

"I wouldn't be worried about girls - they're doing well," he said, adding that "60pc of the contestants are girls".

The winner will be announced on Friday and will be presented with a cheque for €5,000 as well as the opportunity to represent Ireland at the 28th European Union Young Scientist competition taking place in Brussels.

The winner will also receive the BTYSTE perpetual trophy.

Among those taking part are Shane Curran (15), a fourth-year student from Terenure College in Dublin.

Having competed previously in second and third year, Shane is now back with a "Hailo for the courier industry" he is calling Velodrome and which he hopes will revolutionise the courier trade.

"Courier companies have struggled to embrace new technology, but there's definitely a need for it," said Shane.

His system went online yesterday and he revealed that he has already received "a lot of interest" from within the courier industry.

Shane has attended the Web Summit for the past four years and said he would eventually like to work in the tech sector in the US and to start up his own company.

"Ideas are the easy part," he said, adding that the hard part is putting his ideas into fruition.

Meanwhile Eve Healy (14) and Alexandra Kenny (14), both from Portmarnock and second-year pupils at Santa Sabina in Sutton, have studied the effect of smog in rain water.

They concluded that acid rain not only damages buildings, but also means that river life in cities suffer.

This is due to the diminished oxygen contained in city rain.

Irish Independent

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