Summerhill students find success with safety

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Three bright Summerhill College students have received a Highly Commended award at the 51st BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition held in the RDS in Dublin last week.

WEST SLIGO: Eamonn Kilgannon, Orlagh O’Dowd and Sean Carrabine from Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Sligo and their project ‘Artificial vs natural; An investigation into the impact of artificial turf pitches on athletes muscles and joints compared to natural grass and the advantages and disadvantages of both pitches’.
WEST SLIGO: Eamonn Kilgannon, Orlagh O’Dowd and Sean Carrabine from Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Sligo and their project ‘Artificial vs natural; An investigation into the impact of artificial turf pitches on athletes muscles and joints compared to natural grass and the advantages and disadvantages of both pitches’.

Classmates Sean Casey, Michael Kearins and Michael Gilmartin came up with an adaptor which fits onto a car’s steering wheel and senses whether the driver is fatigued or distracted and can then alert the driver.

The hope is to prevent fatigue-related accidents on our roads and the students were entered in the Junior Technology category, where their innovation won high praise from the judges.

Commended for their project ‘How to adapt a car steering wheel that senses driver distraction’.  Photo by Shane O’Neill / Fennell Photography
Commended for their project ‘How to adapt a car steering wheel that senses driver distraction’. Photo by Shane O’Neill / Fennell Photography

Among the other Sligo winners were Darragh Elliott and Isabella Pawlowski, both from North Sligo and both pupils of Magh Ene College in Bundoran. They were part of a three-pupil project led by Sligo teacher Yvonne Higgins, entitled “The effect of stress on antioxidant levels in red lettuce”. They too were Highly Commended for their project.

The overall winner were Cork students Ian O’Sullivan and Eimear Murphy who did an in-depth study of generational alcohol consumption. The study aimed to identify one potential cause of hazardous drinking in teenagers – parental drinking habits and attitudes to their children’s drinking.

Runners-up were transition year students Patrick Sweeney (aged 16), Chloe Daniels (aged 16) and Annette Moran (aged 15) from Carrick-on-Shannon Community School, Co. Leitrim for their project ‘Birdsong and music: Connections between African and Irish music’.

In all, approximately 1,200 students from across the island of Ireland covering 550 projects from 206 schools took part in the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

Competition judge Professor Ian Robertson said: “This exhibition continues to be the showcase for our next generation of entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and technologists; minds that will tackle and solve some of the most challenging issues facing our planet. I would like to congratulate every single student who took part this week. Participating in the BT Young Scientist Camp; Technology Exhibition is a great achievement. If our past winners have taught us anything, it’s that this award can be life-changing.”

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