Kildare student becomes first-ever female winner of SciFest national title

Kildare student becomes first-ever female winner of SciFest national title

A sixth-year student from Co Kildare has been crowned the overall winner of Sci-Fest 2016.

Caolann Brady from St Wolstan's Community School in Celbridge won with her project 'Hum your Way to Better health'.

It focused on the natural treatment of asthma through humming and breathing techniques as opposed to using inhalers and nebulisers.

Caolann will go on to represent Ireland in Los Angeles at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2017.

She is the first female student to take the overall prize at the SciFest@Science Foundation Ireland national final.

Caolann was born with asthma and has suffered many asthma attacks which were treated by nebulisers.

Research has shown that the ventilation of the paranasal sinuses (inhaling and exhaling) increases greatly when a person practiced specifically defined humming techniques.

Caolann set about exploring whether this was true or not. Conducting experiments with 175 participants, she asked them to hum into a paper bag at a precise pitch for a specified length of time, 45 seconds, which yielded significant post, peak expiratory flow readings.

Test result analysis from this project has shown that the prescribed humming technique improves lung function across the range of ages, genders and breathing capabilities by an average of 10% with 99.9% statistical confidence.

This positive impact on the respiratory system also lasts on average for 45-minute duration.

This year saw a record number of over 8,000 students exhibiting their projects in local and regional science fairs across the country.

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