County Longford was amply represented at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition which took place last week from Wednesday to Sunday at the RDS, Dublin.
Students from Lanesboro Community College, Meán Scoil Muire, Ballymahon Mercy and St Mel’s College all travelled to the capital to showcase their science skills.
‘Come dine with my feathered friends’ is the title of the entry by 2nd year Lanesboro student Evan Tynan which received a Highly Commended status from the expert panel of judges.
The idea came to Evan whilst walking down the aisle of his local pet food store and noticed the shelves packed with different varieties and types of bird food. Evan was keen to discover what were the most popular brands and what type of food was best for the birds.
He began by contacting different pet stores and got in touch with Bird Watch Ireland. Evan learned about the many different varieties of garden birds that may appear in his garden.
Armed with this information, he carried out separate surveys from his own back garden - one in spring and one in winter. Results showed that garden birds prefer the energy rich suet and peanuts in winter but opt for the easier to digest millet and sunflower during the fledgling season in spring.
Speaking to the Leader, Senior Science Teacher at Lanesboro College and Evan’s Project Mentor Michael Lyons spoke of his pride in both his school and in young Evan. “This is a huge achievement for both the school and for Evan and it also shows the great interest young people take in science, especially in our school. We are a very small school in comparison to the other students from the other schools in Evan’s category and we are really boxing above our weight.”
Evan isn’t stopping at the Young Scientist Awards. He plans to enter his project in the upcoming Sci-Fest Science Fair which takes place in Athlone Institute of Technology on May 1st.
Elsewhere across the county, Mean Scoil Muire entered their project ‘Are we really ready for the big world?’, while ‘To determine the levels of electromagnetic and microwave radiation’ was the title of the project entered by Ballymahon Mercy. This project was also highly commended and will be featured in newxt week’s Longford Leader. St Mel’s College students Jack Kelly and Mark Mulleady (pictured) also submitted their study entitled ‘The most effective way of controlling ragwort (a common weed) after germination’.
However the highest accolade in the region went to Lanesboro’s Shauna O’Neill, daughter of James and Margaret O’Neill, Cloontuskert who was was awarded ‘Individual runner-up’. and the acclaimed Intel Award. Her project ‘The effect of static magnetic fields on molecular and macroscopic properties of water’ gained huge recognition. Shauna is a fifth year student of Scoil Muire gan Smal, Roscommon. The Intel award is given to the best project in the chemical, physical and mathematical sciences category, and goes forward to the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May and Shauna won a trip for herself and her teacher to Arizona for the Fair.
More next week.