Offaly Independent

Published: Monday, 6th January, 2014 12:47pm

Five Offaly schools represented at BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

Profile by Laura Ryder

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Teams from five Offaly schools today (Wednesday) begin to exhibit projects as part of the 50th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

Gallen Community School in Ferbane, Colaiste Choilm in Tullamore, Oaklands Community College in Edenderry and Banagher College Colaiste na Sionna all have one project in the exhibition, while two projects from Tullamore College are featured.

Three of the county’s projects fall under the competition’s technology category, while two are in the social and behavioural sciences category and the final one is in the chemical, physical and mathematical sciences section.

One project each is from a senior and a junior group, while the remaining four are from intermediate groups.

Topics addressed by the projects include wind turbines, water leakage and how wireless sensor data can help martial arts performance.

A Gallen Community School duo of students John Corcoran and Ryan Heavin along with teacher Catherine Hopkins are presenting a project looking at social media sites versus the real world. The project, entered in the intermediate social and behavioural sciences category, investigates how Facebook affects our social lives away from the computer screen, and whether or not it makes us more socially active.

Colaiste Choilm are exhibiting a project entitled “Gearduino”. The project by Conor Walsh with support from teacher Brendan McGlynn looks at an automatic gear system for bicycles controlled by a gearduino micro-controller. It’s entered in the intermediate technology section.

A particularly topical project is the junior social and behavioural sciences project put together by a team headed up by Megan Addie from Oaklands Community College in Edenderry.

The project looks at whether wind turbines affect people, animals or the environment, and is supported by teacher Fionnuala Finlay.

Offaly’s only senior category project comes from Tullamore College student Daragh Fogarty, with support from teacher Elaine Howlin. “To P or not to P - A Study of Phosphorus and Renal Dialysis Patients” looks to develop an accurate, reliable and quick test kit to examine the Phosphorus levels of various foods, to aid Renal Dialysis patients. The project has been entered into the chemical, physical and mathematical sciences category.

Tullamore College also has an intermediate project in the exhibition. That project, entered in the technology section, looks to detect even the slightest of water leaks and prevent any water loss by shutting off the pipe at the valve.

The project, which is supported by teacher Elaine Howlin, is presented by the three person team of Lorcan O’Rourke, Gavin Mooney and Emma Kirwan.

Offaly’s final project comes from Banagher College Colaiste na Sionna. Student Jeremy Rigney has investigated the use of wireless sensor data to enhance martial arts performance, particularly the force and accuracy of a Taekwondo punch. Entered in the technology section of the competition, Jeremy’s intermediate level project is supported by teacher Sean Duggan.

The 50th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition officially opens in Dublin’s RDS today. Winners will be awarded on Friday, and the exhition will close on Saturday.

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