Coláiste Muire Máthair

BT Young Scientist 2023

10-January-23
BT Young Scientist 2023

A number of Coláiste Muire Máthair students are eagerly looking forward to displaying their projects and competing at the BT Young Scientist and technology exhibition at the RDS from the 11th to the 14th of January. The college was successful in qualifying four projects for the prestigious competition and have been feverishly preparing their experiments since they heard the good news in October.

Second year student Aoibheann O’Grady Corcoran qualified in the Junior Technology section with her project ‘Watch Out’. For this project she has developed the coding and prototype for a special watch that will help detect unnoticed falls in the elderly. Her project was initiated after hearing of a friend’s parent who had fallen over and was unable to contact anyone for a number, and this inspired her to develop her project. She will be helped by two other second year students Tiffany Djoukang and Mya Nyoni, who have been helping her with her research.

Third year student Ruihan Wu has spent the last couple of months combing the beaches of Galway for microplastics in the sand in order to help him with his project titled ‘The impact of microplastics on sea-sand temperatures’. His interest in sea turtles was the driving force behind his project, as he had researched that due to the insulating effects of increased amounts of microplastics in sand there was a danger that turtle eggs would hatch to be predominantly female, thus putting many species in jeopardy. He has carried out a considerable number of investigations to establish if this reasoning is fact or fiction and is looking forward to presenting his findings to the judges in Dublin.

Leaving Certificate student Dan Carey is no stranger to the exhibition as this will be his fourth time participating at the finals. Dan’s great interest is in Zoology and his project, ‘the carbon Footprint of Macrofauna’, investigates the impact of increasing global temperatures on the rate of activity of macrofauna such as woodlice and millipedes. Increased activity could potentially lead to an increased carbon footprint, and the release of more CO2 into the atmosphere, and with so much macrofauna in the world dan sets out to show that this could be another contributor to climate change that we haven’t really considered. Incidentally, this project initially started life as an award-winning project at SciFest in ATU, and Dan is hoping that his further research and investigation can go one step further in Dublin.

The final project from CMM features another two Leaving Certificate students who are also no strangers to competing at the RDS. Liam Murphy, will be competing for the third time, while his partner Cathal O’Grady Corcoran will be taking part for the second time. Their project has the fascinating title ‘How we could have saved the Pirates! An analysis of the best cooking methods to save Vitamin C’! Vitamin C deficiency causes a disease called scurvy that was particularly prevalent in pirates and sea voyagers back in the day. Having researched that one of the best sources of Vitamin C in Irish diets is in fact the humble potato, the two avid chemists have carried out a huge number of titrations on various forms of cooked potatoes in order to establish how to ensure the maximum amount of Vitamin c is available in our diet.

The students will be in Dublin from Wednesday 11th, and will be hoping that when the results are announced on Friday evening they will feature somewhere in the reckoning.

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