The earth is safe say Athea pupils

EVER wondered about the likelihood of a large asteroid actually hitting the earth?

Well fear not - because it isn't going to happen anytime soon, according to the budding scientists at Athea National School, who rubbed shoulders with the big boys at last week's BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in the RDS.

The fifth and sixth class pupils were among a small selection of primary schools around Ireland who were invited to exhibit their project, which investigated the odds of Planet Earth being struck by a large asteroid.

The idea was pitched to the organisers in early October and once the project was accepted, work got underway in earnest. The children - along with their teacher, Emer Prendiville and principal Margaret Watters, actively researched, designed and created the data and models used to attain their result and draw some interesting onclusions.

The young researchers noted that some astronomers adopt a pessimistic outlook, as international research has suggested that 60 per cent of larger asteroids remain undiscovered and there's no telling in what direction they're heading. However, the children of Athea NS are more optimistic and they are predicting that, even though numerous asteroids will be passing by the earth in the near future, none will be heading directly for us!

After their exciting exhibition at the RDS, the pupils were treated to a meal by Athea native and Bewley's Hotel Group owner, Tom Moran, who also covered the cost of their trip to the capital.

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