Students shine at this year’s Young Scientist Expo

By Eoin Meegan

Photos by Seán O’Sullivan courtesy BTYS&T. All others Ian Davis

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2024 which took place at the end of January in the RDS was an event of innovation, ideas, and displayed the amazing talent of our young generation. First established in 1963 the brainchild of Dr Tony Scott and Fr Tom Burke, the science fair this year celebrated its 60th year.

Young Scientist-BT Hall
BTYSTE Winner Seán O’Sullivan

Congratulations to overall winner Seán O’ Sullivan from Limerick. For his project Seán designed software which isolates writing styles to allow authentication of authorship. And a big well done to everyone who took part. These students, their parents and teachers, should be very proud indeed.

The solution to Ireland’s Housing Crisis – Eva Duffy thinks Retirement Villages is one way to go

NewsFour was at the expo and we were absolutely blown away by the many innovative and eye-watering studies on display there, ranging from an idea to help solve the nagging housing crisis while providing dignified homes for the elderly, to how to differentiate between AI generated text, and that written by a human. 

Martha, Kate & Leyla from Knocklyon whose project
uncovered ecoli in some reusable water bottles

One that took us by surprise was a project looking at the kinds of bacteria that reusable water bottles may be storing. Apparently 25 percent of reusable bottles were found to have e coli on them. That’s a staggering one-in-four people having faecal contamination on their bottles! The solution is to wash your bottle with boiling water daily. 

Éabha McBride, wrote an algorithm to
diagnose and detech brain tumours

And one that stood out for me was by Éabha McBride from St Joseph’s Secondary School in Rush. Éabha wrote an algorithm for detecting brain tumours in MRI scans. An amazing achievement from one so young. 

Local schools were well represented too. Sandymount Park Educate Together did a project entitled Moss is going to the moon and the terrarium. It investigated which moss is the easiest to take care of and is the most sustainable for an enclosed ecosystem, and which moss could be brought to space. This was a solo project by Tetiana Melnychuk, a transition year student, looking at how moss can create more oxygen than trees and take up less space. It’s a study that will go a long way to helping the environment, a topic everyone is interested in today. Tetiana told NewsFour that she even contacted NASA and hopes for a sample of the moss to go on the next expedition to the moon. 

Jamie Cass & Conor Down of Gonzaga College

Another local school which did outstanding work was Muckross Park College. Their research conducted by Amelia O’Doherty and Cate Slattery was called Green Filters: investigating the water filtering capabilities of plants. It looked at investigating the natural filtration capabilities of various plants in regards to the purification of water from algae and bacteria-filled lakes and rivers. The aim of the study was to see if placing plants in water would impact on the quality of the water. The girls discovered that aquatic plants that live in water help to purify it by introducing nutrients and filtering out toxins. Again a very detailed study, and one most relevant at a time when there never was a greater need for clean water.

Amelia O’Doherty and Cate Slattery of Muckross Park
College, pictured with college principle Anne Marie Mee

Very well done to these two schools and of course all who took part. If these students represent the future then we have nothing to worry about at all. Looking forward to next year already.

Ciara Daly, Stratford College, Rathgar,
with her Irish Sign Language project
Sameul Shomefun & Destiny Ajiboye with their
project on Blood supply and organ
donation misinterpretations
Milana, tyre pressure and the importance
of it in the theory driving test