LISMORE STUDENTS SHINE OUT AT YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARDS
Students of Lismore’s Blackwater Community School did extremely well in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition held recently in Dublin, writes Susan Caplice.
John Ring, from Fermoy, won 1st prize in the biology intermediate individual section with his project ‘A statistical analysis of the factors that impact CPR competence’.
This project looked at how various things such as upper body strength, counting method, time and lung capacity influenced trained CPR perfomers in carrying out this vital life-saving skill.
His findings were very significant and could have huge implications in the area of CPR training in the future
TAKING TO THE ‘BOTTLE’
Shane McCarthy, Joe Fitzgerald and PJ Curran also received a highly commended award in the senior technology groups section with their project ‘A Glass Idea’ which investigated innovative designs in underfloor heating using recycled glass bottles.
This idea arose from a chat between Shane and his granddad, a farmer from Lismore. The conversation was about pigs getting cold in the winter. His granddad didn’t have the money to heat the piggery during the winter, but his father had come up with an ingenious plan to keep the pigs warm.
The old man would find empty bottles of stout in the local bar and bring them home. He would then bury them in the ground where the pigs slept, covering them with a thick casing of muck. The body heat of the pigs descended into the muck heating up the bottles.
And, because glass retains heat, the bottles remained hot keeping the pigs warm in the long winter nights. Shane listened to his grandfather at the kitchen table explaining the pigs’ central heating.
COLLECTING THE EMPTIES
Aware of the current drive to preserve energy in houses, he wondered if this idea could be applied to buildings.
After a chat with local lads in the building industry, he realised that this was possible. You could build dwellings with a layer of bottles between the house and the foundations, insulated by cardboard, and the same effect would manifest itself in huge cost savings on the average house heating bill.
The only constraint, he said laughing, was the availability of bottles which is why he and his friends planned to go around their older brothers and sisters’ 18th birthday parties collecting empties.
Shane and his fellow students have calculated how much such a measure saves. A layer of bottles under the average new house produces, on average, 4.77 degrees more heat than a house without the bottles, saving 2.3373 tons of C02 per year and cutting heating bills by an amazing €477.
Louise Hallahan, Abbie O’Shea and Martina Cullinane received a highly commended award for their project ‘Facelessbook: The Death Of The Irish Community’. Their teacher, David King told The Avondhu that the Facebook team were very impressed with the standard of their project that dealt with types and extent of Facebook use and their relationship with social capital, self esteem and satisfaction with life.
“At the start of the school year, our class had a group discussion about project ideas for Young Scientist,” they told The Avondhu.
“When the topic of Facebook came up our group became very interested, as it is something we spend a lot of time doing. So we decided to do a project on the impact of extended social networking use on the generation of social capital through face-to-face communication among Irish teenagers.”
The students ask whether the rise of online social networking is causing the demise of the traditional community. Would you rather send someone a message on Facebook instead of calling round to that same person for a cup of tea?
Looking into the social networking patterns and socialisation habits of people today, the Blackwater students have been investigating the psychological wellbeing of Irish people to see if it links in with the types of relationships they forge, both on Facebook and face-to-face.
The students hope that people will become more aware of the, “impact of social networking”, so they learn how to use sites like Facebook in a constructive way. “We expect this will cause an increase in bonding social capital in the world, leading to more people being satisfied with life and having high self-esteem.”
David King, teacher at Blackwater Community School, Lismore commended all the students that worked so hard “Well done to all our students who entered and participated in this years BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition which took place in the RDS, Dublin last week. With weeks and even months of intense research, tasks carried out and analysis of their outcomes 12 projects eagerly joined the many entries in competition at this years exhibition. We were delighted to hear of the three winners judged to be worthy of accolade.”
A parent teacher meeting for second year students will take place on next Thursday, January 27.
Thursday 20th January 5:29pm