Tralee Schools Represented At BT Young Scientist Exhibition This Week

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Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí students Leah Ní Sheanacháin and Sorcha Nic Gearailt with science teacher Triona Ui Mhaolchatha. The students’ project in the BT Young Scientists Exhibition is ‘Investigating How Subconscious Bias Affects Consumer Decisions of Young People’. Photo by Dermot Crean

KERRY finalists in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) are in Dublin this week for the 55th annual exhibition and Tralee schools are well represented.

Taking place at the RDS, Dublin from today (Wednesday) to Saturday, January 12, the brightest minds from across the island will gather under one roof to compete for the coveted title of BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year 2019.

This year, Kerry is represented by nine schools from across the county with 16 projects exhibited at the BTYSTE.

One such project is from two students at Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí. Leah Ní Sheanacháin and Sorcha Nic Gearailt’s project is ‘Investigating How Subconscious Bias Affects Consumer Decisions of Young People’.

Continued below…


Their survey took in over 4,000 people between the ages of 18 to 25 on social media platforms. Given the choice of two answers on the left and right of a screen, 72% chose the left answer as opposed to the right, even when both answers are identical. The students project investigates why this is the case.

Projects from Mercy Mounthawk students include ‘Safety Sensor and Camera for Bicycles’; ‘An Investigation into whether Graphene is an Effective Alternative to Plastic’; ‘HawkBotDirect’ and ‘The Posture Pad’.

The CBS The Green project is ‘A study into the effectiveness of teaching farm safety skills to young children by integrating different teaching pedagogies into a children’s storybook’

Other Kerry schools represented are Killorglin Community College, Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Tarbert Comprehensive School, Coláiste na Sceilge, Meanscoil Phadraig Naofa and St. Brigid’s Secondary School.

1,137 students across Ireland submitted projects across four categories: Biological & Ecological Sciences; Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences; Social & Behavioural Sciences; and Technology.

The projects for the 55th BTYSTE very much reflect issues of ongoing global concern, with almost 100 qualified projects tackling climate change and environmental issues, doubling last year’s projects.

Other projects touch upon topical issues from cervical cancer screening, the alternatives to and benefits of antibiotics; the growing impact of social media; with some even turning their attention to bee-related projects.

For the 11th year running there are more girls than boys competing, indicating a positive trend in girls engaging in the critical subjects of science, technology and maths at secondary school level. There is also a 62% increase in the number of girls qualifying for Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences on 2018, traditionally a strong, male dominated category.  Overall, 237 schools from across Ireland are sending students to the Exhibition in January.

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