Pupils from St Mary’s College were in Dublin yesterday to compete in the prestigious Young Scientist of the Year competition.
Eight projects from the school were selected to go head to head with the best young scientists on the island at the competition in the RDS, Dublin.
St Mary’s College is no stranger to the national competition as pupils have won a host of prizes in previous years.
Girls from several year groups travelled to Dublin on Wednesday to prepare for the competition, which was opened yesterday by President Michael D Higgins.
This is the 50th anniversary of the competition and celebrity astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield is among the special guests who will be in attendance over the weekend.
The qualifying projects from St Mary’s College include ‘Don’t muddy the waters’ and ‘Is there a measurable difference between the different UMF ratings on Manuka honey?’
Speaking before the girls set off for Dublin, St Mary’s principal, Marie Lindsay, said the pupils really enjoy taking part in the competition and representing the school.
Ms Lindsay also paid tribute to Anne Blanking from the school’s science department who led the project teams to Dublin.
Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue congratulated the pupils on reaching the finals of the prestigious competition.
“I want to wish all of the pupils well in the Young Scientist of the Year competition. They are credit to the school and the city.
“To reach this level of such an important national competition is an indication of the quality of the teaching at the school, the work and talent of the pupils, and the support of their parents.
“St Mary’s have a great track record in this competition and this showcases the wealth of talent in this city.
“The experience of this competition will benefit these pupils as they prepare to move on to the next stages in their education,” Colr. Logue said.
Peter Morris, Director of Corporate Services, BT, the sponsors of the competition, said: “Once again this year, the quality of the projects and the level of engagement by Northern Ireland’s secondary school students is fantastic.
“The number of qualified projects from Northern Ireland is testament to the sheer hard work, creativity, optimism and passion of the students and teachers involved in this year’s exhibition.
“The aim of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is to help cultivate and nurture the talent of local young scientists, and I’d encourage Northern Ireland’s schools, families and business leaders to visit in January and experience first-hand the extraordinary ideas, innovation and excitement about STEM amongst our young people.”
Over 120 awards will be presented at this year’s event, including the overall BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year.