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Talented students gather for 49th annual exhibition in RDS

GIANT ears, solar -powered fridges and a flame thrower. You mightn't get your head around all the projects at the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition, but you won't be bored.

The wacky and wonderful takes centre stage at Dublin's RDS as the country's best and brightest gather for the 49th showcase for young scientific talent.

The Herald met some of the entrants who were busy setting up their projects in the main hall early yesterday. Girls from Holy Child Secondary School in Killiney, Dublin, had an eye-catching artistic display.

The colourful objects -- including a giant ear and eyeball -- were the original creation of one member of the group, Katie McAteer (15) from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Katie and fellow Transition Year students, Rebecca Hackett Delaney (16) and Genevive Sonne (15) will present their project Are You A Book Worm Or Are You All Ears? today.

"We just finished our Junior Cert and it was very stressful so we were trying to decide which study method -- by listening or reading -- is the most effective.


"The findings revealed that most of the participants found listening tests to be most effective," the girls told the Herald.

Socially aware students Jack Bracken (15) and Peter Herbert (16) investigated the link between peer pressure and disobeying orders.

"Our results show how easy it is to go along with something which may not be right," Jack and Peter, who attend St Fintan's High School in Sutton, told the Herald.

Hoping to take their solar power fridge across Africa are Anna Colwell and Daisy Barron, both 13. The second year students from Sutton Park School in South Dublin were proudly showing of their project, A Non Electric Fridge For Africa. It is already making waves across the globe and has been tested in Tanzania. "We want to bring it to other African countries to show people how it works, because we managed to get it to last 18 days longer than the original model," they said. Jemima Turner (13), from Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock, investigated which calcium tablets are best suited for our health. Using a number of different brands of the health supplement, Jemima tested how much acid was generated in our stomach by the tablets.

Hoping to help find a cure to cancer are Laura Hennelly McCarthy (16) from Skerries and Victoria Fitzsimons (16) from Bettystown.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will be open to the public at the RDS from tomorrow and will come to an end on Saturday. Tickets are available for students at €6, adults €12 and family passes are €25.