Monday 27 May 2019

Cork duo announced as BT Young Scientist winners 2015 Newsdesk Newsdesk

AN examination of young people and their drinking habits has crowned two Cork students the Young Scientist of the Year award.

Ian O'Sullivan and Eimear Murphy (both 16), from Colaiste Treasa, in Cork said they were "lost for words" after winning the award for their school for the first time.

The pair were announced as the winners at the awards show in the RDS.

The experiment, entitled Alcohol consumption: Does the apple fall far from the tree?’, looked at what influence parents drinking has on their children.

Speaking to, Ian said they dreamt up the idea after observing their friends on nights out and decided to conduct a social experiment.

"We noticed there were differences with drinking in certain social circles so we thought there must be different reasons, one of which was parents so we decided to research that."

Ian O'Sullivan and Eimear Murphy from Kanturk, Co Cork
Ian O'Sullivan and Eimear Murphy from Kanturk, Co Cork

The work included conducting a survey of some 900 students from the Kanturk-Mallow area.

Eimear added the pair now plan to present their findings to the government and hope it can help form social policies in relation to alcohol.

Speaking about the winning entry, judge, Professor Ian Robertson, said “This study aimed to identify one potential cause of hazardous drinking in teenagers – parental drinking habits and attitudes to their children’s drinking.

"Uniquely for this type of survey, the parents of 360 of these students also agreed to report on their own drinking and attitudes," he said.

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said she had been "flabbergasted by the array of talents" on show at the RDS.

The award for runner-up group went to transition year students Patrick Sweeney (aged 16), Chloe Daniels (aged 16) and Annette Moran (aged 15) from Carrick-on-Shannon Community School, Co. Leitrim for their project ‘Birdsong and music: Connections between African and Irish music and developments of a new music genre based on the Galapagos Island’s birdsong’.  The group was entered in the Biological & Ecological Sciences category at intermediate level.

The award for individual runner-up went to transition year student Jack O’Sullivan aged 16 from Kilkenny College for his project ‘SmartphonePC’. Jack entered in the Technology category at intermediate level.

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