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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Student Joshua 'ahead of the game' at BT Young Scientist

Joshua Butler checks his projects before the event kicks off today. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Joshua Butler checks his projects before the event kicks off today. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The BT Young Scientist exhibition kicks off today, as more than 1,000 students showcase their scientific prowess - including one budding environmentalist who is ahead of the game on Australian bushfires.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will officially open the exhibition today at 2pm, as the country's brightest young minds compete to take home the coveted title of the BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2020.

Destruction

Projects on display at the 56th instalment of the event encompass all areas of science, technology and maths.

Inspired by Greta Thunberg, there is a large contingent of students with environmental projects at this year's exhibition.

One such student, Joshua Butler (17), is "ahead of the game" in terms of quantifying the plant destruction as a result of the bushfires affecting Australia.

The fifth-year student from Templeogue College uses special cameras to monitor the level of infrared light absorption and red light reflection in an area of dense plant life.

Joshua has been working on the project for three years and was chosen for a programme whereby photographs were taken from the International Space Station for his project.

"I was able to quantify the level of plant destruction in the Amazon rainforest due to the fires there, as well as the Australian bushfires," he said.

"With Australia, I would be ahead of the game but it has been done on the ground in Brazil.

"But this is a much easier way to analyse the amount of vegetation in an area compared to some of the stuff that's out there."

Ciara McCormick, Alice Maddock and Katie Shaw check their project
Ciara McCormick, Alice Maddock and Katie Shaw check their project

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