First prize in EU for Kinsale Young Scientists


THE WINNERS of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2009 have secured a first prize at the EU Young Scientist Contest in Paris, France, it was announced last night.

John D O’Callaghan and Liam McCarthy (both 14), from Kinsale Community School, achieved the success for their project “The Development of a Convenient Test Method for Somatic Cell Count and its Importance in Milk Production”. The research involved developing a cheap, efficient way for farmers to detect infection in milk cows, using somatic cells as an indicator, based on the belief that a drop of washing-up liquid could help warn of infection in milk cows.

At a ceremony last night, the boys received a prize of €7,000. Three first prizes worth that sum were awarded at the EU event.

The boys won the right to contest the European event as part of their prize in the Irish version in January. Their submission was praised by Irish judges for its commercial viability. The two have developed it since in preparation for the EU contest.

Commenting on the European win, Chris Clark, BT chief executive, said: “This is fantastic news and we are very proud of John D and Liam’s latest achievement. As farmers’ sons, they were acutely aware of the challenges all farmers face. In developing this test method farmers may very soon have a practical and affordable way of dealing with milk souring.”