The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2018 took place at the RDS in Dublin, and with over 500 projects on display, in categories which include Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Biological and Ecological Sciences, Social and Behavioural Sciences and Technology there is something to catch the interest of everyone. Simon Meehan, aged 15, a Transition Year student from Colaiste Choilm in Cork, has taken home the top prize for his project entitled ‘Investigation into the Antimicrobial effects of both aerial and root parts of selected plants against Staphylococcus’ aureus.

The winners of first place in the Senior Group Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category were Caoimhe Cronin and Shauna Murphy, representing St Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, Co Cork, for their project entitled “Assessing the enhancement of radioactivity in plants grown in selected Cork soils, environmental implications of long-term use of Phosphate fertilizer”. They were awarded a cash prize of €300. The project also won an award from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The criteria to be considered for this award is the science project that has the strongest potential to aid food safety and/or animal and plant health, and all projects in the Biological and Ecological, technology, chemical, physical and mathematical areas are eligible.

Shauna Murphy and her friend Caoimhe are no strangers in the competition, and have been previous award winners in 2017 and 2015. Shauna’s parents are both from Monaghan,  Dad is Fergal Murphy and Mum is Colette (nee McKenna), Drumacaslan, Ballinode, and she is a grand-daughter of  Maureen and the late Joe McKenna, Drumacaslan. Well done to Shauna and Caoimhe once again.

Shauna Murphy (on left), Kevin O’Keefffe TD, and Caoimhe Cronin at Young Scientist 2018