Macroom School has the most entries in the BT Young Scientist exhibition

Pupils at St Mary’s High School in Macroom were ahead of the pack even before the annual BT Young Scientists and Technology Expo kicked off this week, as their school was confirmed to have the most projects during the final of the prestigious competition. Science teacher Jennifer Butler and colleague Shannen Foley were guiding their students, mostly in the transition year but with an individual third year project, and are thrilled with the school’s twelve projects that are vying for the title of young scientist when it’s announced on Friday. Even though the school tops the rankings with 12 eligible projects, there were even more last year when 14 projects were found to meet the standard. “It’s a sign of the high regard that the competition is being held at the school,” Jennifer said. “All the students in the transition year proposed projects, individually or in groups, and they participated in a presentation of the school. Jennifer, who last year won an Educator of Excellence award at BT Young Scientists, believes the competition gets girls used to what college life would be like at the third level, by giving presentations about their work, being interviewed and evaluated. “There is a very diverse selection of projects in the exhibition this year with entries in the categories social and behavioral, biological and ecological, and chemical and physical,” she said. And while the school has the most projects until the final, the rigorous judging process they must go through to get to this point underscores that it is a matter of quality as well as quantity. Among the various topics studied by the St. Mary’s boffins include the effects on individuals of working from home during the pandemic, the impact on female health of switching to natural deodorant from antiperspirants, and an investigation of how Photo editing apps affect the body image and self-esteem of teenage girls and young adults.

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