BRIGHT YOUNG MINDS OFF TO BT EXHIBITION
LOTS OF WICKLOW PROJECTS ON DISPLAY AS EVENT OPENS IN THE RDS
WICKLOW will be well-represented at this year’s BT Young Scientist Exhibition which gets under way today (Wednesday).
Secondary schools from across the county will exhibit a diverse array of research and experiments over a three-day period.
With everything from the benefits of fidget spinners to the use of alternative therapies with autism, the Wicklow competitors, supported by their teachers, have certainly put plenty of hard work into their projects.
Four projects from Avondale Community College in Rathdrum have been entered into the exhibition.
Leaving Certificate pupils Aoibheann Hayes and Hannah Kinsella’s project is entitled ‘Autism! Sensory Overload’ and examines how alternative therapies are used by students with autism to help them cope with the sensory issues they can encounter during a school day. The findings of the research suggest that music therapy is the most popular type of therapy used and favoured by students. One of the recommendations would be to allow students with autism to wear headphones in loud places such as halls and canteens.
Fifth year pupil Sean Byrne, who has qualified for the exhibition three times to date, has worked on a project entitled ‘Glogos’ which is an investigation into the different methods of making safety clothing ‘glow’ or emit its own light, to improve safety by making the wearer more visible.
Second year students Luke Doyle and Nathan Delamere examined the comparison of ‘Predicted weather versus actual weather’ and asked ‘Is there as much of a difference as people think?’
First Year students Alanna Delamere and Eric Murnane have entered a project called ‘Teaching an old dog new tricks’. The premise is to investigate the idea of Neuroplasticity, the idea that the brain is capable of change even into maturity and old age which has enormous implications for teaching as well as rehabilitative medicine, psychology and psychiatry. The implications of an opportunity ‘to rewire’ the brain of a dyslexic student or a student with ADHD could be life-changing.
At Arklow’s Gaelcholáiste na Mara, Aisling Downes, Isabelle Lawlor and Sarah Brennan have investigated the benefit of accessing both the English and Irish version of an exam as well as statistical analysis of current practices of students from Gaelcholáistí taking the Junior Certificate exams.
Fidget spinners and why they are more than just a toy was the theme of Katie Garrett’s experiment from St Mary’s College while Anna Keating and Alaidh Kavanagh came up with a way to clean your gum shield pitch-side, in less than a minute.
Another St Mary’s College project was completed by Alice Keenan and Aoife McBride, who looked at various milk brands to see if their contamination is true to the best-before date set.
sabella Chonaill and Laura Gallagher from Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew, examined whether your zodiac sign accurately describes your personality and skills while over at the Dominican College Wicklow, Lily Devitt and Isabella Downey conducted an experimental and theoretical investigation of air resistance on falling coffee filters and ping pong balls.
Fellow students from the Wicklow town school, Rachel Werner and Catherine Moyseyeva investigated the physics behind the trebuchet catapult and what factors affect its ability to hurl objects.
Over at Scoil Chonglais in Baltinglass, Agustin Plaza Reino explored the ability of Neural Networks to represent music, starting with classical music, while Seán Nolan, Shay Barrett and Nathan Rogers examined the use of Lego Technic Mechanisms and Mindstorm Robotics to model engineering projects and develop problem-solving skills that are key to STEM subjects.
Alexander Brady and Jack Brady from Coláiste Chraobh Abhann investigated the use of a mechanism on the gates of a livestock trailer to decrease farm injuries while Donovan Webb from East Glendalough School focused on climate change for his project. He conducted an experiement to analyse and monitor river ecosystems – balancing drinking water use with natural environment in a changing climate.
Aoibheann Hayes, Hannah Kinsella, Sean Byrne, Eric Murnane, Alanna Delamere, Nathan Delamere and Luke Doyle who will represent Avondale Community College at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.