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Recognition for Cork's young scientists

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 4:33pm

Sixty awards were given to students from Cork schools at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition on Friday 11 January.

The Best Group (overall runner up) award went to Aoife Morris and Tianha Williams, transition year students from St Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill, for their project, Developing an organic solar cell coating solution to mitigate fossil fuels usage by motor vehicles. This project developed an organic solar cell which can be used to partially power an electric car, therefore reducing the need for fossil fuels in the automotive industry.

The Runner Up Group award was presented to Danila Fedotov and Filip Caric, sixth year students at North Monastery Secondary School, for their project: A wearable device which assists caretakers by providing them with the information on the wellbeing of their patients.

This project has resulted in the development of a device that monitors the location and status of elderly people with a specific focus on those living with dementia. The prototype is strapped to the upper arm and communicates with an app to allow caregivers to constantly monitor the wearers’ wellbeing, and to alert in the event of a fall.

Cork students were successful across the categories of Biological & Ecological Sciences, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences and Technology, in addition to winning special awards sponsored by high profile companies and STEM organisations. There was also success for the teachers as Patrick O’Keefe of Clonakilty Community College was named the Analog Educator of Excellence.

The exhibition has gone from strength to strength in its 55th year. The number of project entries almost tripled from 606 in 2000 to 1,803 in 2019. This year girls made up 56 per cent of the qualified entrants, with an increase of 62 per cent in the number of girls qualifying in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences category. DEIS schools made up 10 per cent of entries for the 2019 Exhibition.

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, said: “I am particularly pleased to see so many young people tackling some of the most important issues facing us, from climate change to health, to technology, ethics and societal change. The students are a credit to their families, schools and teachers. They are a huge inspiration. The entire competition is a credit to everyone involved, and brings to life the old adage of 'mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí'.”

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