Mayo students setting a high standard at BT Young Scientist competition

THE Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has commended participants from County Mayo whom he met today at the BT Young Scientist competition in the RDS, Dublin.

He stated: “It was a real pleasure to meet these highly talented young people from ayo today in the RDS. Their projects were presented to an extremely high standard and reflected the clear talent of these young students.

“It is admirable how, at such a young age, they have the ability and the confidence to go and present their theories at this major exhibition which is contested by young people from every county in Ireland. They are a credit to themselves, their families and their schools.

“Ariadna Gomez Kelly from the Sacred Heart School in Westport presented a fantastic study on the differences in how unchallenged children and children with Downs Syndrome perceive gender roles as they get older.

“Laura Campion and Holly Kenny from St. Mary’s Secondary School in Ballina gave me an excellent presentation on their study of how the compression on soil by farm machinery impacts on the growth of plants and micro-organisms.

“Ruth Byrne and Louise Foody, also from St. Mary’s Secondary School in Ballina had a fascinating project on how the earth’s magnetic field impacts on the behaviour of dogs.

“I also met with Seoirse Swanton from Sancta Maria College in Louisburgh. His investigation into how changing weather patterns could be leading to population decline in swift breeding pairs was excellent.

“Patrik Zacek from Ballinrobe Community School presented a really interesting comparative study on the effect of climate on the emotions of teenagers in Ireland and Slovakia and I was delighted to meet with his teacher, Deirdre Dwyer who was there to support him.

“I wish all of these young people the very best in this competition and for the future. It is exciting and encouraging to see people of their ability representing our local schools. I strongly encourage young people in Mayo who are interested in the sciences and the natural environment to consider entering this competition.”

* Pictured is Minister Ring with Patrik Zacek of Ballinrobe Community School, Mairead MacSweeney of BT and teacher Deirdre Dwyer.