Monday, January 09, 2023

 

Lauren Byrne, Abi Hutton and Odhrán Maxwell from Tullow CS are heading to this year’s BT Young Scientist of the Year competition and are the only students from Co Carlow to qualify

 

 

By Elizabeth Lee

THREE students from Tullow Community School have qualified for this year’s BT Young Scientist of the Year exhibition and are the only students in Co Carlow to get through to the prestigious competition. Lauren Byrne and Odhrán Maxwell from Ballon and Abi Hutton from Ballyconnell used their fascination with bees to inspire their project, ***The floral origins of local Irish honey: do we have a taste bias?***

Lauren, Abi and Odhrán, all third-year students, worked closely with their science teacher Emma Kavanagh on the project, while also enlisting the expertise of the Carlow Beekeepers’ Association. Members Paddy Holohan, John Blanche and Shane Kavanagh (Emma Kavanagh’s husband) were all on hand to guide the three intrepid scientists through their project, which explored if people had a preference for honey from their local area.

“One of the hardest things to do is to get a good subject to enter into the Young Scientist competition. This started as a chat about beekeeping and we took it from there. Members of the Carlow Beekeepers’ Association came on board with us and they were brilliant. There was a lot of work involved and there’s more research that we could do on the project, but we’re very happy to present it at the Young Scientist exhibition,” explained Emma.

The trio will spend the three days of the exhibition in the RDS meeting the judges, members of the public and, most importantly, teenagers from all over Ireland.

“This is a national platform and is a great learning experience for Abi, Lauren and Odhrán. They’ll be interviewed by a panel of academics and scientists, so it’s a wonderful learning experience for them, too. It’s also great fun. It’s fantastic for the school – it’s the first time that Tullow Community School has been successful in getting into the competition. We had great support from the school, too, especially from principal Paul Thornton and administrator Emma Byrne, and the beekeepers,” said Emma.

The BT Young Scientist of the Year exhibition takes place in the RDS, Dublin from Wednesday to Friday 11-13 January.

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