BT Young Scientist 2020
St. Mary’s College Galway had three participating projects at this year’s BTYSTE, all of whom were very well received by the judges. 14-year-old third year student Dan Carey was the youngest of the three with his project entitled ‘An Investigation into Niche Feeding amongst Leaf Fragmenting Macrofauna’. Entered into the Biological and Ecological Science section and focusing on ‘where all the fallen leaves go’, the project explored the breaking down of common Irish leaves by invertebrates such as millipedes and woodlice, to show the importance of these organisms to the environment, and to analyse their feeding habits.
Transition Year students Cormac Hannon and Aaron Fahey correlated students’ motivation type
with their choice of subjects for Leaving Certificate to determine if there were significant connections, or vice versa, with their project entitled ‘The Motivation behind subject choice at Senior Cycle’. Like Dan they received very favourable judges’ comments, and gained great experience of interacting with the public.
The third project took second place in Senior Group category of the Social and Behavioural Section. In this project fifth year students Mircea Tabalae, Nathan McNeela and Cathal Forde set out to explore the effect of stimulant drinks on reaction times and awareness, basing their project around the RSA ‘Tiredness Kills’ campaign. Although indeed showing that there is an initial boost from drinking stimulant beverages such as coffee, the boys also showed that once the effects wear off the slump that follows led to less awareness than was present at the initial starting point. The judges, chief amongst them Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch, praised the amount of work and detail shown by the students, and also the innovative way that they had set about attempting to improve road safety.