Young Scientist 2014 – highly commended

A packed hall at the 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

A packed hall at the 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS this week. Photograph: Alan Betson


Biological and Ecological

Junior Group: Daragh Exton, Matt Lucey, The vibe of the hive, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh; Clodagh Butler, Fiona Deasy, Marie Dempsey, An investigation into the effect of how colour could aid nutrition in chickens, Kinsale Community School; Amy Murray, Shauna Kiernan, A comparison of adolescents’ foot strike and ground reaction force in shod versus barefoot running, Ardgillan Community College; Mia Hynes, Susan Timmons, A study of the effect of water temperature on the physiological response of open water endurance swimmers, Kinsale Community School.

Individual: Hannah Allsopp, Haemoglobin and blood transfusion, Mount St Michael; Conor Daly, Can alternate feeds change the production of hens’ eggs?, Colaiste Mhuire - Askeaton; Nicole Palmer, The effects of plant volume on the acidification of water bodies, Kildare Town Community School.

Intermediate Group: David Noonan, Caoimhe O’Dea, Eco-friendly greenhouse, John The Baptist Community School; Áine Fealy, Catherine Irwin, Michelle Mohan, Quantification of saliva in shared water bottles, Our Lady’s Secondary School - Monaghan; Orla Keaveney, Andreea Slavescu, A quantitative comparative analysis of the nutritional components of equine and bovine meat, Castletroy College; David Strogen, Jack McHale, Can pyranine dyed water and ultraviolet lighting speed up germination?, Patrician Secondary School - Newbridge; Catherine Gallagher, Alva Vesey, Emer Vesey, The effects of using school chairs on teenagers’ backs and posture, Coláiste Pobail Acla; Conor Ryan, Stephen Lynch, Stephen Woods, Moo Boots; Protective boot for cows, Bush Post Primary School; Laura Joyce, Kathy Devaney, Stimulating adrenaline production in athletic performance, Ursuline College.

Individual: Aoife Kavanagh, Do horses have an advantage over ponies in competitions?, Coláiste Bhríde; Jason Hannan, Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?, St Nessan’s Community College; Evan Quirke, Reseeding land, is it really worth it?, Presentation College.

Senior Group: Alannah Nic A’Bhaird, Heather Mc Gowan, Rebecca Wymbs, To investigate how the environment of a holly tree affects the life cycle of the holly leaf miner (Phytomyza ilicis), Magh Ene College; Sarah Casey, Saibhe Brock, Determining the biodegradability of bio plastics, St Louis High School; Amy Scanlan, Katie Burke, Melissa Scully, The effect of over the counter medication on daphnia, Kildare Town Community School; Louise McCormack, Laura Quigley, Claire McCormack, Does the playing of music in the milking parlour influence milk yield and quality, Presentation Secondary School - Thurles; Justin Moore, John Reynolds, Is biocide usage in agriculture posing a threat to Apis mellifera and apiculture?, Ardgillan Community College.

Individual: Eamonn Sweeney, Stayin’ Alive: Investigating the effects of a metronome on lay people performing CPR, Jesus & Mary Secondary School; Tara Matthews, Redheads, are they more likely to be hyper-mobile?, Seamount College; David Sims, The feasibility of using Ulva lactuca as a method in the treatment of sewage, Mary Immaculate Secondary School - Lisdoonvarna.

Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences

Junior Group: Lauren Fahey, Jade Duffy, An investigation in to how oil and water droplets react in zero gravity, Dominican College - Wicklow; Seanan Jones, Callum Higgins, Investigation of the effect of flattening nail points to prevent the wood splitting, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál - Blarney; Conrad Oppermann, Bobby McCarthy, Sub-Zero, Belvedere College; Isobel Moloney, Alice O’Gorman, What products actually kills the bacteria they claim to?, St Andrew’s College.

Individual: Rían Cathcart, The rocket messenger; An investigation into the aerodynamic Impact of the shape and size of a plastic capsule and the Impact on the capsule’s propellant by air, Ardgillan Community College; Aoife Begley, Slip or non slip: That is the question, St Vincent’s Secondary School.

Intermediate Group: Peter Duffin, Ricki Duffield, The detection and impact of solar flares in the upper atmosphere, Wellington College; Nikki Maria Shaji, Ell Hershey Gamas, Maria Farooq Aslam, Use of bio-mimicry and speed of run-off water to determine harvesting time of Irish grown Brassica Oleracea, St Joseph’s College - Lucan; Dominic Lightbody, Thomas Sheerin, David King, Exploring the most efficient design of solar thermal collector, Coláiste Choilm; Carrie O’Leary, Derry O’ Flynn, Sarah Crowley, The power of muck, Colaiste Treasa; Serena Foley, Aleksandra Migliaccio, Susan Lagali, Wind vs. Stringed instruments and the Gabor limit, St Aloysius School; Aidan Fitzpatrick, Jack Mac Namara, An investigation into counting cards in Blackjack, devising a new method of counting cards and writing a computer program that counts cards with accurate results, Gonzaga College; Aiveen O’Callaghan, Aoibhín Sally, Grainne Smyth, Home brewers beware! The effect of hot press temperature variation and bottle storage conditions on variations in alcohol concentration, St Vincent’s Secondary School.

Individual: Elle Loughran, Spiral patterns in tree cones in Ireland, Our Ladys College - Drogheda; Aoife Nash, Don’t muddy the waters, St Mary’s College; Étáin Nash, Evaluating the impact of super-hydrophobic coating in the marine environment, Schull Community College.

Senior Group: Craig Curley, David Kavanagh, Old hen’s tales, Avondale Community College; Kate Culligan, Clodagh Hunt-Sheridan, A research study of the X-ray properties of black hole binary stars, Dominican College - Drumcondra; John Ryan-Purcell, Areeb Mian, Colm McBride, The best way to write: Part two, Presentation College; Michaela van der Walt, Ailish Breathnach, Joanna Orlowska, Trihalomethanes in Irish waters, Dominican College - Galway; Kyle Clarke, Conan Mulraine, Renewable production of ethanol bio fuel, South Eastern Regional College - Bangor Campus.

Individual: Shannon O’Doherty, The magic of liquid marbles, St Mary’s Limavady; Daragh Fogarty, To P or not to P- A study of phosphorus and renal dialysis patients, Tullamore College.

Social and Behavioural Sciences

Junior Group: Lauren Farquhar, Gráinne Tyrrell, Carrie Manning, Testing the accuracy of an eye witness testimony, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide; Niamh Cronin, Aisling Power, A statistical study on the impact of the horse meat scandal, Kinsale Community School; Leah Mc Sweeney, Cliona Barry, To compare the activity levels of teenagers in different geographical locations - rural, town and city schools, Coláiste Choilm; Laura Clarke, Maria McCarthy, Eva O’Keeffe, Has volunteerism increased with the onset of a recession In Ireland?, Coláiste Choilm.

Individual: Hannah Keohane, Teenage awareness of sugar content in their food and its effects, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál - Blarney; Brian Lyons, Are computer games the way forward for teaching maths?, Lanesboro Community College.

Intermediate Group: Aoife Griffin, Alanna Hanly, Lauren Coyne, Distractions in the classroom and their effects on the students’ performance, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál - Roscommon; Anne-Marie O’Donovan, Ruth Kingston, Stressed out?, Sacred Heart Secondary School; Liam O’Driscoll, David O’Callaghan, Do sixteen and seventeen year olds have the knowledge, maturity and responsibility to vote in local, national and European elections?, Ardscoil Uí Urmoltaigh; Ruairi O’Connor, Ryan Grunwell, Project maths?, Bandon Grammar School; Kate Noonan, Karen O’Regan, Emma McMahon, Is Catfishing becoming an increasingly serious issue for young people in our society?, St Mary’s High School; Hannah Nash, Sinéad Dalton, Clodagh Sheehan, An síceolaíocht taobh thiar den fáth nach glacann líon mór déagóirí páirt in aclaíocht, Coláiste Iosagáin; Judy Murphy, Helen Leahy, A statistical analysis investigating the accuracy of sell-by and use-by dates on various foods and people’s attitudes to food wastage, Coláiste Choilm; Sadhbh Sullivan, Jayden Murphy, Orlaith Carroll, Homophobia: An investigation into homophobic attitudes in Irish teenagers, Beara Community School; Eibhlín Halpin, Eoin Jardine, Na héifeachtaí diúltach a bhíonn ag díothacht codladh agus imscrúdú ar na modhanna ailtéarnach a n-úsáideadh chun na héifeachtaí seo a laghdú, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh; Alana Healy, Jane Kidney, Laura Murphy, A study to statistically assess current public perceptions and awareness of the health benefits of Omega -3 Oils., Kinsale Community School; Ciara Houstoun, Robyn Griffin, Has justice really been served?, Bandon Grammar School; Niamh O’ Brien, Grace Garvey, Conor Garvey, Seeing is believing... or is it?, John The Baptist Community School; Daire Hennessy, Alvaro Gonzalez, Edrees Siddiqi, To investigate how socioeconomic background affects a persons attitude towards education, Rockbrook Park School; Caoimhe O’Callaghan, Emma Moriarty, A statistical study into parents awareness of the effects of cyber-bullying and the development of an online, parent friendly, information program, Kinsale Community School; Chloe Johnston, Sonia Leahy, Aoife Keegan, Menu formats; do they affect meal selections?, Magh Ene College; Harry Winterbotham, Sophe Kenny, Kimberley Thatcher, Learning and memory, Coláiste Bhríde; Eimear Brady, Eithne Byrne, Jodie Meehan, Ireland - A pessimistic nation?, Carrigaline Community School; Ella Barrett, Paige MacDonald, An analysis of the effectiveness of using iPad applications in the teaching of mathematics, Heywood Community School; Kate Ryan, Shóna Hayes, Alice O’ Regan, An investigation into using gross national happiness as an economic indicator for Ireland, Sacred Heart Secondary School; Elyssa Curran, Aishling Connolly, India Bartholomew, Exercise your mind, Schull Community College.

Individual: Evan McDermott, The reliability of Wikipedia articles, Belvedere College; Kevin Murphy, Comparing attitudes towards MMA compared to GAA, Bush Post Primary School; Sarah O’Callaghan, A study on the awareness of the symptoms of the condition Carpal Tunnel due to playing or working with modern technology, Kinsale Community School.

Senior Group: Niamh Fox, Niamh Gallery, Is the new project maths curriculum benefiting students’ overall problem solving and analytical skills?, St. Clare’s Comprehensive School; Clare Lawlor, Siobhan Moore, Illusions uncovered, Saint Dominic’s Secondary School; Doireann Lawless, Niamh McMorrow, Michaela Healy, Can you affect the way you think or does it affect you?, Ursuline College.


Junior Group: Saoirse O Donnell, Medb Brereton Hurley, Grammar gadget, Coláiste na Hinse; Lorcan O’Brien, Neil O’Brien, Viewing blood vessels with infrared light, Kinsale Community School; Ben Nolan, Fionnuala Connolly, Media vista - smartphone controlled TV media centre, St Colmcille’s Community School.

Individual: Emma Townsend, Zero: An app to reduce food wastage in the home, St. Leo’s College.

Intermediate Group: Lee Davitt, Shane Ainsworth, Kirrell O’Dowd, Automobile thermo-acoustic refrigeration unit, St. Gerald’s College; Brendan Dowling, Rowan Clark, Easy shell - A natural language command-line interpreter, Gonzaga College; Lorcan Lalor, Conor Wilson, Aghogho Atiyota, The development of an automatic automotive speed limiter for the safety of the public, St Gerard’s; Timothy Neville, Eoin Crowley, Dosage monitor, Coláiste Choilm; Cillian Scott, Nathan Dean, USB Key, Davitt College; Brian Thompson, Ian Dooley, Cathal Shanahan, Farm theft control app, John The Baptist Community School; Ellen Fitzgerald, Aoife Dolan, Niamh Nyhan, Non-integrated LED bulb, Sacred Heart Secondary School.

Individual: Maciej Goszczycki, Teaching people programming through an online game, Colaiste Chraobh Abhann; Erin Bennett, Asthma acoustics, St Mary’s Limavady; Tiernan O’Rourke, Autonomous Motion Tracking Tripod (A.M.T.T.), Coláiste Chiaráin; Laoise Bennis, To design and manufacture a useful device to aid in the transportation of an Irish Harp, Hazelwood College.

Senior Group: Killian Ryan, Michael Fitzgibbon, Emmett Ryan, Smarter study; The Leaving Certificate biology experiment app, Ardscoil Ris; Sean Duffy, Warren Gleeson, A method of deterring or detecting the tampering of drinks, Desmond College - Limerick; Shauna Tobin, Steven Brosnan, The bi-cycle of life (self powered water transportation/filtration system), Desmond College - Limerick.

Individual: Rory Flynn, Development and analysis of a new lossless data compression algorithm, Newbridge College.