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Tess Casasin Sheridan and Aoife Doherty, pupils of Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna working on their BT Young Scientist project which asks "Why are the beaches in Clare different colours?" . Photograph by John Kelly.

Young Scientist awards for Lisdoonvarna pupils

PUPILS from Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna were celebrating on Friday night when the awards were presented at this year’s BT Young Scientist Exhibition at the RDS in Dublin.

Stephen O’Connell won the intermediate individual award in the Biological and Ecological Sciences category with his project, Grading Crab Meat – an easier way? In the Social and Behavioural Sciences category, Rhianna McMahon and Keelan McMahon came second in the senior group section with their project, The Changing Geography of the Young Scientist Competition. They also won the EMC Data Hero Award, while Tess Casasin Sheridan and Aoife Doherty won the Geological Survey of Ireland award for their project, Why are the Beaches in Clare Different Colours?

There was a record number of entries for the exhibition, which continues until Saturday. The 50th competition saw 2,000 ideas submitted by 4,418 students from across 32 counties. Fifty per cent of secondary schools in the Republic have entered a project for the milestone year. This year’s BT Young Scientist and Technologist is Dublin pupil, Paul Clarke for his project, Contributions to Cyclic Graph Theory.

BT, which has organised the exhibition for 14 years, has significantly evolved it every year to engage as many young people as possible in the key areas of science, technology, engineering, maths, innovation and commercialisation. Clare and South Galway are well represented this year, with 11 projects making it to the Dublin exhibition.

There was also success for Scoil Náisiúnta Eoin Baiste, Ballyvaughan, the only primary school from Clare to be exhibiting. The findings of their project, How pure is Burren water? will be exhibited on Saturday. Twenty-three children from third to sixth class, investigated and measured the pH and electric conductivity of water samples found in caves, turloughs, rivers and limestone pavements in the Ballyvaughan area.

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