herald

Thursday 21 March 2019

Red wine stain remover among exhibits as young scientists thrill President

Ellie Colcannon (14), Kate Owens (13) and Aoibhe Briscoe (14), from Colaiste Iognaid SJ in Galway, with their project PAW-sitively Dangerous Antibiotic Resistance
Ellie Colcannon (14), Kate Owens (13) and Aoibhe Briscoe (14), from Colaiste Iognaid SJ in Galway, with their project PAW-sitively Dangerous Antibiotic Resistance
Jordan Aherne and Liyana Zafri (both 16), of Kishoge Community College, Lucan, with project Smart Home for the Hearing-Impaired
Aibhin Ruddy (16), Alice Sexton (15) and Hannah Raferty (15), from Sacred Heart College in Clonakilty, with project Fear-Free Foraging

Projects ranging from removing red wine stains to smoke detectors for the deaf were on show yesterday at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in the RDS.

A lack of females in science industries was lamented by President Michael D Higgins during his opening address.

However, 55pc of participants in this year's competition are female, outnumbering the boys for the 12th year in a row.

Cheer

A cheer broke out when Mr Higgins pointed out the higher female participation.

"Society is being denied the intellectual contribution of so many who could be, but are not, represented in the world of science," he said.

One such up-and-coming female entrant was Ciara Gilmore (14), from Carndonagh Community School in Donegal.

Ciara's project was to finally get to the bottom of whether white wine removed red wine stains from clothes.

It turns out it is more than just an old wives' tale, but be sure the white wine you use is French or Australian.

"It was Yellow Tail sauvignon blanc from Australia and Bordeaux from France that removed all of the red wine stain most," Ciara said.

Elsewhere, Kishoge Community College pair Liyana Zafri and Jordan Aherne (both 16), from Lucan, created a device that alerts the hearing-impaired if a fire starts in their home.

Their system involves the use of a vibrating watch.

Two separate smoke detectors go through a low-power computer in the ceiling of the home.

"That has radio, so if they detect smoke, that will send a signal to the watch that the hearing-impaired person will wear," Jordan said.

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