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Mercy Lisdoonvarna success at Young Scientist Exhibition

There were tears of joy from Mercy Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare students on Friday January 11th when the results of this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition were announced. The school scooped 7 awards for their 12 projects!

Even before the exhibition the school had success by getting so many of their projects accepted. There were 1879 entries for only 550 places at the exhibition in Dublin.

Aisling O’Rourke, who is a fourth year student in Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna took second prize in the Intermediate Individual section of the Biological and Ecological Sciences.  

Her project looked at whether there are differences in the morphology of the leaf of Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) located in geographically separated areas. She also looked at how exposure would affect leaf morphology. She took 3 measurements from each of 2800 leaves.

She looked at plants in the Burren and the Aran Islands. The judges said that her work was a “very detailed assessment and analysis of morphological variation in leaf parameters of Geranium sanguineum which is to be commended”.

Deirdre O’Connell is a 3rd year student at Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna. She was awarded second place in the Intermediate Individual section of the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Her project was entitled “Computer and Internet usage among adults in North Clare”.

One of her judges said that “this is a well organised and presented study. You address an interesting topic, one which is largely ignored in the media. Your findings present a positive outlook for the future”.

Claire Costello and Ellen O’Loughlin are two second year students from Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna. They were awarded a Highly Commended by the judges in the Junior Group section of the Biological and Ecological Sciences.

Their project looked at whether a sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) would pass a predator to get to food. They found that the presence of a predator did deter the sea urchins from going for their food. The judges said that their project contained “nicely designed experiments with simple apparatus and plenty of replication”.

Keelan McMahon is a fifth year student in Lisdoonvarna. He was awarded a Highly Commended by the judges in the senior Individual section of the Social and Behavioural Sciences.

His project examined if there was a correlation between the successes of a G.A.A. club and the population of the area it members came from. His project attracted a lot of attention from the public. One of his visitors was former G.A.A. President Sean Kelly. (Sean is one of the Members' of CEIST).

Martyna Bujnowska and Orlaith Bowen are two second year students in Lisdoonvarna. They were awarded a Highly Commended by the judges in the Junior Group section of the Biological and Ecological Sciences.

Their project looked at the clumping behaviour of mussels (Mytilus edulis). The judge said that they had carried out their project with “careful and precise experimentation”.

David Sims is a 5th year student in Lisdoonvarna. He was awarded a Highly Commended by the judges in the Senior Individual section of the Biological and Ecological Sciences. His project looked at the growth of the Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha intestinalis in relation to the amount of nutrients (nitrates and phosphorus) in the water.

Stephen O’Connell a third year student from Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. He was awarded a Best Display award for his project on crab.

The other students who were selected for the exhibition were: Eimear Thynne & Myra McNamara, Ben Kenneally & Maghnus Hartigan, Katie Flanagan & Dílse Guerin, Rebecca O’Callaghan & Eala Mardell and John Clancy.

This was the 49th Young Scientist competition to be held since its foundation. This was the 24th year the school has competed in the competition. All the projects were carried out under the guidance of John Sims.

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