Five things we liked

Highlights from the Young Scientist Exhibition

A packed hall at the 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

A packed hall at the 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 15:09

The changing geography of the Young Scientist Exhibition

Rhianna and Keelan McMahon from Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, analysed and charted over 20,000 exhibition projects over the past 50 years to measure the changing geographical spread of entrants. They found that the contest has gone from being a Dublin-centric event to a national one.

Feasibility study of a small scale hydroelectric generator in Rosscarbery

Sean Gordon and Joseph McCarthy tested a number of different waterwheels under the bridge arch of the Rosscarbery tidal causeway. The boys from Mount St Michael School in Cork found they could generate enough electricity to power 10 houses and believe small hydroelectric generators could work well in Africa.

An udder alarm

Mastisis is an inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue that affects dairy cows. The risk of infection is greater when milking machine pressure moves below or above 40-50kpa. Liam Upton, Shane Lee and Padraig Dore from Desmond College, Limerick, developed a sensor device which sets off an alarm when the machine is going out of range.

An examination of parabobn levels in counterfeit cosmetics

Ann-Marie Finn, Jeongun Kim and Abbey Greene from the High School in Dublin compared counterfeit and authentic cosmetics and found that the former tended to contain parabons, cheap preservatives which some scientists believe are linked to cancer.

The feasibility of using Ulva lactuca in the treatment of sewage

On his sixth and final project at the exhibition, Leaving Cert student David Sims from Mary Immaculate, Lisdoonvarna conducted research to show that seaweed Ulva lactuca is particularly effective in treating domestic sewage.