Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

St Mary’s College, Londonderry, aims to find winning formula for science expo

Science buff Emer Traynor from St Mary's College gets preparations under way for the next BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

St Mary’s College in Derry is set to take the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2013 by storm.

With the highest ever number of qualified projects to come out of any Northern Ireland school, 12 out of a total of 33 this year, the all-girl, non-selective school is now hoping to win a prestigious award at the ceremony.

At last year’s exhibition the college was recognised for its efforts with the inaugural Matrix Overall Best Northern Ireland School Award which was an outstanding achievement.

Speaking about the exhibition, teacher Ann Blanking said: “We are delighted to reach the final of the next BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and we are really looking forward to being part of the event.

“I strongly believe that as many of my interested pupils as possible should have the opportunity to participate.

“The college has been involved in the competition for the past 11 years. and year on year we are determined to come up with new groundbreaking ideas.”

She continued: “We are thrilled to be taking part, which provides a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects for students and provides a platform to showcase the scientific skills of our pupils.

“This year all of the projects came out of the after-school chemistry club, where I love encouraging and nurturing an interest in science.

“Some of the projects we will be exhibiting include, ‘Investigating ways to prevent RFID credit card fraud’, ‘Investigating the possible antibiotic effects of the water soluble B vitamins and vitamin C’ and ‘Investigating the effect of green tea on the action of antibiotics’.”

Anne added: “There is no doubt that the process requires hard work and commitment from the students, however from my own experience, my pupils find it immensely rewarding and interesting.

“It really is an unforgettable experience for the students and I would urge other teachers to get involved in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2014 as the whole competition is a great mechanism to stimulate learning outside the classroom.”

The exhibition is now in its 49th year and 33 projects from 63 students across Northern Ireland schools have qualified for the prestigious event.

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