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Homeless crisis inspires young scientists

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Faye Murphy and Emma Greaney, from Desmond College in Limerick, with their pop-up sleep pod for the homeless

Faye Murphy and Emma Greaney, from Desmond College in Limerick, with their pop-up sleep pod for the homeless

Chris Bellew/ Fennell Photograph

Faye Murphy and Emma Greaney, from Desmond College in Limerick, with their pop-up sleep pod for the homeless

Students have been showing off their ideas at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, including an innovative sleep 'pod' for people experiencing homelessness.

In the first ever virtual exhibition, 550 projects from 213 schools have been shortlisted to take part in the finals.

Second-year pupils Emma Greaney and Faye Murphy from Desmond College in Co Limerick designed a personal pop-up pod, which provides temporary shelter for the homeless.

"It's a pod for them to stay in overnight because they have nowhere to go, especially if they're not in shelters, which some of them don't want to go into because of certain rules that they don't want to follow, like not allowing pets," they explained.        

"We decided it's not fair for them to sleep with no shelter or anything so we decided to make a pod for them."     

The girls said they spoke to a former homeless person as part of their CSPE class and this inspired them to create something which would help other homeless people.

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"We think homelessness is not addressed enough.

"There are 10,000 people homeless in Ireland nearly every  day and there's not enough people knowing about it and we want to make it more known," they added.

The exhibition saw a wide range of different topics this year ranging from sustainability to music.

Transition year students Niamh Clerkin and Briana MacCinna from St Louis Secondary School in Co Monaghan investigated the health benefits of listening to music tuned at different levels.

The students, who both play music, said they had found a conspiracy theory that claimed the standard tuning for most instruments can affect your heart rate.


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