Wednesday 24 January 2018

Wicklow well represented at Young Scientists & Technology exhibition

County Wicklow will be represented by a whopping 28 projects when the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition opens in the RDS today (Wednesday).

County Wicklow will be represented by a whopping 28 projects when the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition opens in the RDS today (Wednesday).

Schools from across the Garden County are taking part, with Avondale Community College (Rathdrum) leading the way with 11 projects. Others come from the Dominican College in Wicklow (eight projects), Coláiste Bhride in Carnew (three projects), St Gerard's in Bray (two projects), and Arklow Community College, Coláiste Craobh Abhann (Kilcoole), Gaelcholáiste na Mara (Arklow) and St Mary's College (Arklow), with one project each.

This is the 50th year of the famous competition and the Wicklow entries will be among a total of 550 projects altogether from right across Ireland, North and South. The exhibition will run until Saturday (January 11).

The full list of County Wicklow projects included (listed by school) is as follows:

Avondale Community College

* Second year students Samuel Arslan, Kewin Skuza and Toby Walsh carried out a statistical analysis of the Birthday Paradox, a puzzling anomaly to probability. Normal probability rules state that you would need to be in a room of 365 people to have a 50 per cent chance of sharing your birthday with another person. However, you need only to share a room with just 23 people to achieve a 50 per cent chance of a birthday match.

* Shane Byrne, John Kavanagh and Aidan Roche, also second year students, wanted to see what effects the run off from slurry applications has on local waterways. Slurry is considered to be an organic pollutant of water and can be spread on land in two ways. It can be either sprayed directly on top of soil or it can be pumped underground. The Avondale students tested the water for nitrates and nitrites daily for three weeks. High levels of nitrate and nitrite indicate water pollution.

* Fellow second year students, Orla Conroy and Elizabeth Vickers, wanted to investigate whether breath training exercises can improve lung capacity values in comparison to a standard cardio vascular exercise programme. Student volunteers took part in training for three weeks.

* Transition Year students Amaris Borel and Cian Murphy designed an extensive survey for teenagers to identify various skin types, cancerous and non-cancerous moles to understand the knowledge and experience teenagers possess regarding skin cancer.

* Transition year students Niamh Fulham and Amy Skinner set out to investigate if teenage girls are aware of the causes of the cancer, how to protect themselves and also their risk factors in the potential development of abnormal cells in the cervix. It turned out 98 per cent of participants did not know if there was a family history of cervical cancer in their family, 40 per cent were unsure of how to protect against cervical cancer and 68 per cent were unsure about how the cervical cancer vaccine works.

* Sixth year students Andrea Kenny-McDonald and Emma Townsend investigated the pattern of infection of Current Season Needle Necrosis in Ireland and Northern Ireland through interviews and research.

* Sixth Year Students Patrick Kinsella and David Ward examined the various pre-treatments carried out on clover seed and measured their germination rates accordingly. Clover normally takes 14 days to germinate.

* During her project, third year student Michaela Gahan researched and found the answers about diabetes, what causes it, what the symptoms are and the possible treatments.

* Mark Roche's and David Ward's project is titled 'Be on Track with the BVD Pack.' The BVD pack is a small portable unit, which allows the safe storage of samples taken from calves to be tested for the bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus. The fifth year student's unit will keep samples taken from calves for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus tests stored at the recommended temperature for more than five hours. The container will also hold 10 samples which allows the farmer to save time.

* Sixth year students David Kavanagh and Craig Curley examined the old wives tale whereby the shape of an egg can be used to predict the sex of an egg. They tested and sexed almost 100 eggs and used their specifically designed ratio formula to give a numerical value.

* Fifth year students Tamara Phelan and Caitlin Olohan asked 'Am I Thick or Disinterested?' This investigation monitors brainwave activated during lessons and identifies the brainwaves that indicate attention, focus and concentration, specifically known as beta waves.

Dominican College

* 'An investigation into how oil and water droplets react in zero gravity' (Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Junior Group)

* ' Registering births and deaths in Tanzania - An investigation into possible solutions to a growing problem' (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Intermediate Group)

* 'An investigation into a cheap and effective way to make a pair of reading lenses' (Technology, Intermediate Group)

* 'The science of the cafeteria - patterns in lunchroom seating' (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Intermediate Group)

* 'An analysis of spiders' webs - does playing different types of music to a spider affect the pattern of their webs?' (Biological & Ecological Sciences, Intermediate Group)

* 'Facebook envy - can social networking harm the well-being of teenage girls?' (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Intermediate Group)

* 'Why does spaghetti always break in three?' (Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Intermediate Group)

* 'Can sea water be used to grow tomato plants? A comparison between growing plants with fresh water and growing plants with sea water, using solar drip irrigation' (Biological & Ecological Sciences, Junior Group)

Coláiste Bhride

* 'Learning and memory' (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Intermediate Group)

* 'Do horses have an advantage over ponies in competitions?' (Biological & Ecological Sciences, Intermediate Individual)

* 'To research and raise awareness of aspartame in the Irish diet' (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Intermediate Group)

St Gerard's

* 'The development of an automatic automotive speed limiter for the safety of the public' (Technology, Intermediate Group)

* 'An investigation and analysis into electromagnetic radiation levels, how much we are exposed to in our homes both urban and rural, plus proposed methods of reducing exposure (Technology, Intermediate Individual)

Arklow Community College

* 'A study of the association of diet and physical activity with child overweight and obesity' (Social and Behavioural Sciences, Junior Group)

Coláiste Craobh Abhann

* 'Teaching people programming through an online game' (Technology, Intermediate Individual)

Gaelcholáiste na Mara

* 'Staidéar ar iompar seirbil coimeadaithe ag déine solas éagsuil' (Biological & Ecological Sciences, Junior Group)

St Mary's College

* 'To investigate grass growth using chemical and organic fertilisers' (Biological & Ecological Sciences, Intermediate Individual)

Bray People

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