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Two Drogheda schools flying the flag for Louth in Young Scientist

Jan 3, 2023

St Oliver’s Community College qualifying group is called ‘JAHO 3D’ consisting of Jemma Winters, Aoife Lawlor, Holly Taaffe and Owen Winters.

There’s less than one month to go to the return of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, back in person for the first time in two years.

And Drogheda will be well represented by students from two local schools; St Mary’s Diocesan School and St Oliver’s Community College, with four schools from Dundalk also flying the flag for Louth.

“This year, we sent two groups forward to the BTYSTE after their success in a local competition ran by LMETB in their new Advanced Manufacturing Trancing Center of Excellence (AMTCE). The two projects were entered into the Technology Category for the competition and both of which were innovations to help individuals with disabilities,” explains co-ordinating teacher, Andrew Donnelly.

Kaelen Nulty ( 1st year). His project is called: Which is more attractive , Composite faces or real faces?

“The qualifying group from our school is called ‘JAHO 3D’ consisting of Jemma Winters, Aoife Lawlor, Holly Taaffe and Owen Winters. Due to only three participants being allowed to represent each project, Owen will not be attending the competition”

Their project is designed to help wheelchair users store commonly used items such as mobile phones, bank cards and pens in a convenient and assessable location on their wheelchair.

The device is intended to clip onto the existing structure of a wheelchair.

“The group discovered the problem as one member of the group has a wheelchair user in their family,” adds Mr Donnelly. “The device is also intended to be a downloadable file that any person with a 3D printer can obtain and print in their desired colour to allow them to express their own personality once it has been refined”.

The school recently held a small awards ceremony in the school for the two groups, with BTYSTE providing certificates for them, to get them in the mood for the forthcoming exhibition.

“We also had success recently in the Engineering Technology Teachers Association (ETTA) with two Leaving Certificate projects going to the national competition in Limerick and two Junior Certificate projects placing 1st and 2nd in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan,”  says Mr Donnelly. “We were delighted to be able to present medals and certificates for those students as well.”

There is excitement too in St Mary’s as First Year Kaelen Nulty is also going forward with his project called: Which is more attractive, composite faces or real faces?

“For those who don’t know, a composite face is composed of several different faces merged together and averaged out to make any small non-symmetrical features,” explains 13-year-old Kaelen. “In the survey I did. there were 16 male and female faces, four of which were composite faces, and the rest were real”.

The people surveyed were aged 12 to 18 and were all male, as Kaelen attends an all-male school!

“I used an online tool to make the composite faces, and I got real faces for my survey,” he explains. “The conclusion was that we found overall, the composite faces got a higher rating than the real faces; they scored 7 or above in 60% of the responses.”

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will be held in the RDS, Dublin, from 11th – 14th January 2023.