Four Longford projects for Young Scientists exhibition

Ballymahon Vocational School students Patrick Farrell and James Gavigan present their project, 'The Anti Alcos'.

Ballymahon Vocational School students Patrick Farrell and James Gavigan present their project, 'The Anti Alcos'.

The 50th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is upon us, and today, Wednesday, four local projects will be set up in the RDS with the hopes of impressing the judges.

Having scooped several awards at last year’s Scifest, Lanesboro Community College lead the way with three projects chosen for the exhibition.

Second year student Will Dennigan has been trying to develop a computer algorithm which will take the guesswork out of gambling. Will has been carrying out various tests first run with students, then run with computers.

Daniel O’Reilly, third year, has been working on a very topical subject – the perception of iPads in Irish education.

Daniel prepared a questionnaire for the teachers, parents and students of a select number of schools, before analysing their answers. Many seem to think that iPads do the job well, while others feel that their uses aren’t being adequately exploited.

Finally, first year student Brian Lyons has been investigating the possibility of replacing teachers with computer games!

After carefully researching his project, Brian carried out a number of experiments. This included splitting students into two groups, where the same maths lesson was taught by a computer game and a teacher. At the end of it all, the students underwent a test to see which was most effective. Though the students were more enthusiastic about the computer game, the teacher’s lessons proved more effective.

Ballymahon Vocational School also have a project going forward to the prestigious competition.

Third year students Patrick Farrell and James Gavigan have been working on their project, ‘The anti-alcos’.

The project looks at the area of alcohol and alcohol abuse, as well as the drinking habits of teenagers.

With surveys and campaign strategies carried out and tested over the past few months, the boys have produced great results, and are looking forward to the exhibition.

Science and biology teacher at Ballymahon Vocational School Sinead Mulcahy explains that it is a “great experience”, adding that the boys have “come on leaps and bounds” since work started on the project.

Biology teacher and deputy Principal of Lanesboro Community College, Michael Lyons explained: “It’s a fabulous occasion and a great event for students”, adding that the exhibition is “one of the finest examples of an extracurricular event in our country”.




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