independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Young scientists discover dairy cows milking a love for classical music

DID you know? Dairy cows have a yen for a bit of classical music.

It was with a level of enthusiasm that would leave most teachers astounded that this year's class were informing judges of the intri-cacies of their projects at the 49th BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition.

Alongside the difficulties of cutting a swathe through the heaving influx of chattering students, judges were also faced with grading the imaginative works veering from the potentially lucrative patent-pending efforts to the downright quirky.

Last year's CBS Synge Street winn-ing duo, Eric Doyle (18) and Mark Kelly (18) – who went on to lift the coveted EU-wide competition trophy with their bamboozling project to improve the accuracy of satellite movements – were back with a few sage words of advice for those trying to wow the judges.

Top of their list of winning factors were making sure the students brush up on their communication skills, while a unique element also helps swing the judges vote, the now college-going pair said.

And, next for the duo? "It might help toward a Nobel prize maybe," joked Eric, as he said their Young Scientist win might help them land a job when they finish college.

"For some it will launch them on a science career," agreed judge Mary Kelly-Quinn. "They are only mad to communicate their findings, some of their findings are very important," she added.

Budding scientists Helen O'Shea (16) and Amy-Rose Holden (15) discovered that dairy cows have a bit of a gra for the classical/ traditional music as their milk yield went up during three days subjected to it over speakers in a barn.

After hearing of an old farmer who played music to soothe his cows. The duo from Castlecomer Community School in Kilkenny decided to put the 'old farmer tale' to the test.

"We found out the classical music increased the amount of litres we got – the rock music made it drop a good bit," they said.

Irish Independent

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