Thursday 17 August 2017

Is Guinness good for you?' - Trinity College showcases top science stars with intellectual disabilities

Daniel O'Connor

Guinness, chocolate and kickboxing were just some of the subjects of experiments showcased at the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID) exhibition today.

In conjunction with SciFest, the exhibition gave students a chance to showcase their work and develop their skills in front of a packed crowd in the Science Gallery in Dublin.

Among the questions posed in some of the projects presented included “Is Guinness good for you?” and “Is chocolate good for women?”

Jack Hogan, Donaghmede, Dublin, presented several reasons why Guinness better to drink than other alcoholic beverages, such as its relatively low sugar and alcoholic content.

He hopes to get a job as a scientist and work on more experiments in the future, as he explained what he believes one needs to be a good scientist.

“You have to have passion,” Hogan said. “Being a scientist is getting the information you need and doing a lot of hard work to build up your experiments.”

Niamh Biddulph, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, gave good news to a lot of observers as she presented information arguing why chocolate is good for women, such as it reducing the risk of cancer and increasing one’s quality of life.

“I just wanted to discover how chocolate benefits me and do I have to worry about having chocolate in my diet,” Biddulph said. “The good news is with all the research I’ve done, I don’t. I’m very happy with the results indeed.”

“As well as that, the word ‘cacao’ is a Greek word for food of the Gods. So when you see cacao in the word chocolate, it’s food of the Gods,” she added.

Students such as Hugh O’Callaghan took inspiration from their hobbies for their projects, with Hugh conducting his project on the effects of fatigue on kickboxers whilst practicing the martial art himself at The Edge gym in Clontarf.

“When I was asked to do a project on anything I wanted, I chose kickboxing straight away because I didn’t know of anyone who done it and I wanted to learn more about it myself,” O’Callaghan said.

“It’s important to keep your physical condition up as long as possible so you can keep doing it for as long as you can, and if you get a serious injury you should just stop because you don’t want it to get worse.”

This practical project was developed by TCPID to help develop confidence and skills in students taking part before moving on to the course’s second year.

All students who participated also received a SciFest Science Excellence Award for presenting their work.

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