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Young Scientists


CDI60B3The Young Scientists' Exhibition, formerly the Esat Telecom Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, is an all-Ireland science project competition. Students taking part may go in groups or individually. They must research and examine an area of science with a particular aim. They submit a project description and they may be chosen to take part in the Exhibition. At the Exhibition there are projects in all areas of science, roughly divided into groups of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences and Biological & Ecological Sciences. These categories are further divided into Junior, Intermediate and Senior projects.

Each project must show an original idea and the students, who are questioned rigorously by a panel of experts must show a thorough understanding of their projects. More advice from the judges can be found on the Esat site.

Prizes included First Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize and Highly Commended in each section as well as special prizes such as Best Use of Irish Language, Best Project on Dental Health, Best Use of Scientific Equipment and Best Use of Energy. There were also other prizes and awards from companies such as Intel.

For many years now our school has entered many projects in the Young Scientists Exhibition. The exhibition usually takes place in the RDS, Dublin in early January. So far most projects have been supervised by Ms. O'Regan but a few have been tutored by some of the science teachers. We have had some notable successes over the years. Below is a sample of some projects submitted in earlier years.

Anna McEvoy awarded First Place in the Monsanto Company Award for Innovation in Plant

Science and Sustainability

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. It is the premier science competition in the world and provides a forum for high school students to showcase their independent research annually. There were 1,702 students from 78 countries and 1,300 projects at Intel ISEF 2015. The fair provides the opportunity to finalists to display their talent on an international stage, while enabling them to submit their work for judging by doctoral-level scientists. Anna previously won the Elan award for excellence in biology and the senior individual biological and ecological category in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. She also won the overall Sentinus Young Innovator last June and qualified her to represent Northern Ireland in Intel ISEF. Her project ‘Aetiology of bleeding canker disease of horse chestnut trees’ was an investigation into the incidence and causal agent of bleeding canker disease which is affecting horse chestnut trees nationwide. Anna devised a quicker and more effective method of identifying the bacterial agent causing the disease. This year the exhibition was held in Pittsburgh (9th-16th May).In the Special Awards Anna was awarded First Place in the Monsanto Company Award for Innovation in Plant Science and Sustainability. As a first prize winner she will be flown to St. Louis, Missouri where she will present her research to the company. In the Grand Awards (category awards) Anna won Second Prize. A further award has been added to Second Prize-winning students in which their names will be submitted to the International Astronomical Union (MIT) for a once in a lifetime naming of a minor planet.





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Young Scientists 2012

Niamh Cunningham (2nd Year) took 3rd prize as an individual in her section with the project "Patterns of products of fibonacci numbers".

Aóibh Collier and Caroline O`Connor (T.Y) won a highly commended award for their project "An investigation into what type of waste bag breaks down fastest".

Michaela Murtagh and Jane Casey (T.Y) researched "Trail patterns and how people manage space".

Aisling Molloy (T.Y) researched "To investigate the effects of exercise on mental preformance".

Mary Hand (2nd Year) won a highly commended award for her project "Do people pre-judge you based on your name?"

Young Scientists 2011

Niamh Cunningham (1st year) took 3rd prize as an individual in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical section with her project "Physics of Taekwondo".

Helen McEvoy (TY) won a highly commended award in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical section for her project on the "analysis of the endgame of the Dots-and-Boxes game".

Caroline O`Connor, Erica Cleary and Aoibh Collier (3rd year) researched "The Fractal Patterns of Clouds".

Bronagh Kieran (TY) measured the "Mathematical patterns of paper wads and tear paths".

Esat Telecom Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2000

In 2000 Greenhills had another wonderful year in the Esat Telecom Young Scientists Competition. For the second year no overall winning school was announced due to an industrial dispute. Greenhills was the last school before this to win the overall award in 1998. We are confident that, had there been an overall award in 2000, Greenhills might well have taken it. This is a truly great achievement for the girls, for the teachers who guided the girls to success and for their parents, too, who felt the pressure that national success puts on everyone. Well done, everyone!

Below is a resumé of the projects which has been compiled by Fionnuala Gibney of 3rd Year.

2000 Projects

The Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2000 was a highlight in our year so far with all 5 of the projects entered winning prizes!

Biological & Ecological Sciences: Junior

Eliza Matthews, "The Roosting Habits of the Corvidae (Crow) Family", *First Place*

Social and Behavioural Sciences: Intermediate

Aoibhinn Ni Chliontuin, "Tuin na Gaeilge", *First Place & Bórd na Gaeilge Special Award*

Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Intermediate

Emma Cassidy, "First Digit Phenomenom", *Highly Commended*

Emma Clarke & Muireann McGinty, "Mathematics of Movement", *First Place*

Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Senior

Gemma O'Halloran & Karie Murray, "Mop It Up (Part 2)", *Second Place & Special Award from the Irish Pharmaceutical Institute*


1999 Projects

Click on the links to see a brief description of each project lower down this page.

Social and Behavioural Sciences: Junior

Jennifer & Susan Brodigan, "The Sense of Being Stared At", *First Place*

Louise Breen, "On The Move, a study of traffic flow patterns in Drogheda", *Highly Commended*

Fionnuala Gibney, "Evaluation of the Turing Test"

Biological and Ecological Sciences: Junior

Aoibhinn Clinton & Zara Kennedy, "An Investigation of Cut Flowers", *Highly Commended*

Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Junior

Emma Clarke & Muireann McGinty, "The Mathematics of Trees" , *Third Prize*

Irene Sands, "An Investigation of Fibonacci Numbers, *First Prize*

Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Senior

Aoife Dillon & Anne Marie Campbell, "Slimeocity, *First Prize & Special Award from Institute of Chemistry*

Gemma O'Halloran & Karie Murray, "Mop It Up", *Third Prize & Special Petroleum Award*

You can see more information about the Young Scientists Exhibition by looking it up on a search engine such as Google (


Young Scientists


Social and Behavioural Sciences: Junior
Jennifer & Susan Brodigan, "The Sense of Being Stared At", *First Place*

Susan and Jennifer had a project which was on the edge between psychology and parapsychology. Perhaps at one time or another you have had the feeling of being stared at by someone behind you. It was this theory, written about by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, that was the basis for our project "The Sense of Being Stared At". We are twins and we also wanted to research the theory that twins have a greater 'sense' of being stared at than single birth people, that is, when one twin stared at her or his twin. Our five main aims were to test the hypothesis: 
- that people have a sense of being stared at 
- that twins, both fraternal and identical, have a greater sense of being stared at than single birth people 
- that siblings have a greater awareness than non-related single birth people 
- that performance improves with repetition of experiments 
- that sensitive subjects (if and when identified) perform better on a wider range of trials

To do this we wrote to Dr. Sheldrake who sent us some of his test sheets. These sheets gave instructions to the 'looker' on when to look or not look at the 'subject' who was blindfolded. To test the first aim we also sent out 65 surveys asking people if they felt they were being stared at and we also tested as many people of different age groups as possible - 274 in total. We tested 13 pairs of twins and 97 non-related single births repeatedly for aim 2. In the third aim, we tested 15 pairs of siblings repeatedly. We tested a class group of about 28 students 5 times. For the last aim, we tested 10 pairs though glass.

Our results showed that: 
- people have a definite sense of being stared at and that some people are more sensitive than others. 
- twins, both fraternal and identical, have a significantly better result than non-related single birth people 
- siblings have average marks compared to non-related single births 
- practise does improve results 
- results dropped dramatically through glass.

Louise Breen, "On The Move, a study of traffic flow patterns in Drogheda", *Highly Commended*

For my project I studied the traffic patterns on many of the roads in and around the town of Drogheda. I counted cars, lorries, bicycles, motorbikes, buses, taxis, etc. I hoped to assess where were the busiest roads, what was the busiest time of the day on the roads and finally what could be done to improve the flow of traffic on our roads.

I spent days doing traffic flow counts around the roads and 2 days on the Dublin Road from 7 am to 7 pm. One outcome of the project for me is that I truly understand the woes that are ours while travelling.

Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Junior
Emma Clarke & Muireann McGinty, "The Mathematics of Trees", *Third Prize*
Trees  CDI1C1.gif (4177 bytes)

Their project was focused on the marvellous pattern of the leaves and the angle of branching of some 17 different species of trees. They wished to calculate the fractal dimentions of the leaf profiles and tree crowns. They used the Richardson Plot Method the do this. They found the fractal dimentions of these 17 species of trees. As well as calculating the ange of branches.

Irene Sands, "An Investigation of Fibonacci Numbers", *First Prize*

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55........

Irene conducted an investigation into Fibonocci numbers. The first in this pattern is 1, 1, 2... but the following examples which show the pattern uses the second, third, fourth and fifth numbers:

x + y = z, (1+2=3, x = 1, y = 2, z = 3)

x = y, (1 = is now changed to = 2)

y = z (2 = is now changed to = 3)

repeated x + y = z (2+3=5)

and then the process is reiterated to produce this pattern 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55 ...... in short each number is the sum of the two previous numbers. Irene wished to see how many possible ways there are to lay paving stones 2*1 stones on a pathway which is 2*z and 3*w. This may sound easy but in reality it is very difficult.

Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Senior
Aoife Dillon & Anne Marie Campbell, "Slimeocity", *First Prize & Special Award from Institute of Chemistry*

This project involved the making of slime from assing polyvinyl alcohol and sodium tetraborate together. "We wondered if changing environmental conditions such as temperature, pH or substrate concentrations would have any effect on our slime.... originally we bought polyvinyl alcohol but later we decided to try and make it ourselves. We were successful in doing this and even made glue in the process! We are now using homemade polyvinyl alcohol to make slime."


Gemma O'Halloran & Karie Murray, "Mop It Up", *Third Prize & Special Petroleum Award* This project dealt with oil spills "..... a problem in every kitchen, but not any more! At the moment we are trying to transform the humble cotton tea towel into a cotton cloth which will absorb large amounts of oil. To do this we react a combination of chemicals and using various methods we hope to produce a cloth which has a greater capacity for oil absorbency."  


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