West Cork students are crowned BT Young Scientists of the Year

A team of students from Kinsale Community School have been crowned overall winners of the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Exhibition.


BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2012
The overall winner of the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Exhibition are a team of students from Kinsale Community School. The team of three 15-year-olds, Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow carried out a detailed study into the bacteria Diazotroph and its effects on crop germination in wheat and barley, bringing the title to Kinsale for the third time in seven years. The bacteria has been noted to have beneficial effects in legume crops and the girl’s study showed that it could improve the rate of germination in wheat and barley.

2013 BT Young Scientist winners

One of the competition's judges, Mary Kelly-Quinn, said the winning project showed how germination time could be reduced in wheat and barley seeds if a certain bacteria is added.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Ronan McNulty of the UCD School of Physics said scientists in Ireland lead the way in Europe at 16 but are way behind at 40.

The girls win a prize of €5,000 and a perpetual trophy and will now go on to represent Ireland at European Union Contest for Young Scientists to be held later this year in Prague in the Czech Republic.

President Higgins congratulated the winners of BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2013: "I wish to congratulate Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow on their creative and practical research into crop growth. Their discoveries make a significant contribution to the important worldwide research around food security, one of the most important issues of our time.

I would also like to congratulate their teachers at Kinsale Community School for their dedication to their students and encouragement of their ideas."

It was an amazing second win for the Judge family as Ciara’s older sister Ashling was the 2006 winner of the competition.

The Best Individual award went to Presentation College, Galway for their project '"Free Feet" a device to reduce freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease'.

The Runner Up Individual was Scoil Muire gan Smál, Roscommon for their project 'The effect of static magnetic fields on molecular and macroscopic properties of water'.

The Runner Up Group was  Bush Post Primary School, Louth for their project'Abortion and religion: A statistical analysis of views and opinions in border counties'.

More than 45,000 people attended the event held in Dublin’s RDS where the 550 finalist projects were on display.

More than 4,000 students from 362 schools across the country took part in the competition with more than 1,700 projects entered.

List of Qualified Projects

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