The winners of the 59th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) have been announced, with 13 prizes awarded to projects from Donegal students.
Donegal pupils picked up five category awards, five highly commended awards and three display awards at the event in the RDS this week.
St Eunan’s College, Abbey VS, Colaiste Ailigh, St. Columba’s, Carndonagh CS, Rosses CS, Pobalscoil Goath Dobhair, Loreto Community School, Colaiste Cholmcille and Moville Community College were all well represented at the event.
St Columba’s Comprehensive pupil Ethan Dewhirst (pictured above with his teacher Ruth Mc Polin) scooped a 1st Intermediate Individual award for a comparative study Physicochemical characteristics and health-promoting properties of Donegal heather honeys Vs Maunka Honey.
The overall winners were Shane O’Connor and Liam Carew, aged 19 and in sixth year in the Abbey School, Tipperary. Their project was Assessing the impact of second-level education on key aspects of adolescents’ life and development. The coveted prize was presented to the winners this evening in the RDS in Dublin by Minister for Education Norma Foley TD, and Managing Director of BT Ireland, Shay Walsh.
TY Student Jara Schaufler (Moville Community College) was among the students to compete in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2023.
Jara competed in the individual intermediate Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category. Her project titled ‘Proteins are not alike’ gained great interest from many people from other schools, the public and especially from the BT Young Scientist co-founder Tony Scott, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and MEP Maria Walsh.
Jara is a student from Austria and enjoyed the whole experience and would like to continue working on her project. She was advised by her judge to ‘look into this topic more’ as there would be a lot of interest from the public and health care facilities in her findings’.
Coláiste Ailigh had a hugely enjoyable and highly successful trip to the RDS for the 2023 BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition this year coming away with five awards in total!
Third place Chemical Physical and Mathematical Sciences junior category went to Lorcán Ó Fearáíl with his project on an ecological liquid flame retardant for the prevention of wildfires.
Second place in the Social and Behavioural Sciences junior category was taken by Caolan Mac an tSagairt, Maitiú Ó Fearail and Daithí Mac Diarmada and their investigation into the effects of rising fuel costs on attitudes towards investment in renewable energy and insulation in the home.
A Highly Commended award went to Sienna Ní Dhaimhín Saoirse Ní Ghallachóir and Aimee Ní Chaoinnealbháin with their project on the effect of hair straighteners on hair strength.
Also Highly Commended were Megan Ní Bheirn Róise Ní Bhaoill and Síomha Nic Seáin with their project on the effect of peppermint on reaction times in teenagers.
Lorcán and Saoirse, Sienna and Aimee’s projects also received display awards for their presentations.
Midlands Northwest MEP Chris MacManus was full of praise for students from Co. Donegal at the recent BT Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition at the RDS in Dublin.
The Sinn Féin MEP was a guest invitee at the event on Thursday last and was very impressed at the projects on show. “The BT Young Scientists Exhibition is a fantastic event. There was so much talent on show at every turn. Superb ideas and impressive research studies everywhere. Our future really is in great hands with the skill and ingenuity this emerging generation has to offer.”
MacManus expressed special praise for Donegal students exhibiting at the event. “The standard from all over the country was phenomenal but It was great to stop and chat with some of the Donegal students here today. They are a credit to their county. Their parents and teachers should be very proud. I genuinely learned something new at every stall I visited. I think socially and economically Donegal has a bright future as these students bring their ideas to the world.”