Young scientists go for the craic not careers

STUDENTS take part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition “mostly for the craic”.

And participation in the popular competition has “no effect” in spurring the young people to opt for careers in science and engineering, a student survey has found.

The survey was undertaken by students of the Convent of Mercy secondary school in Roscommon.

Forfás chair of Science and Engineering Leo Enright confirmed the survey’s findings when he interviewed students at the RDS event.

One student, who did well in the exhibition but wanted to become a carpenter, said: “I don’t think it was really valuable. We really came down here for the craic.”

Another student added: “I’m doing physics and biology this year, but I’m taking woodwork for the Leaving. The Young Scientist wouldn’t change my mind in keeping on science subjects. I’m going to go working on a building site.”

A fellow student admitted: “I did the Young Scientist competition because it would be a bit of craic. And we got a month-and-a-half off school to work on it.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Murphy and Anthony Coates from Balbriggan Community College confirmed why France beats our rugby team.

French front row forwards have perfect balance, unlike the lopsided Irish.

“You have to have an equal force pushing forward,” they explained.

But national coach Eddie O’Sullivan wasn’t available when they phoned to offer the fruits of their scientific discovery.

Moved by the Asian tsunami tragedy a year ago, three Sutton Park school pupils came up with an efficient and affordable warning system.

An alarm sounds when the water level falls before the high wave rushes in, giving locals time to climb a 60-feet tower to safety, according to fifth years Enda Hannan, Robert Palminteri and Max Van De Poll.

Clongowes Wood student Hugo Stewart has found out why Roscommon town has taken the Brazilian community to its heart.

There are 600 Brazilians among the dozen different nationalities, totalling around 720 people, in the Connacht town.

“The Brazilians were the first to come. I found them good-willed, hardworking people,” said Stewart, from Corrigeenroe, near Boyle.

“The reason they are so well integrated is they are of the same (Catholic) religion as the majority of the townspeople.”

This is the 42nd annual Young Scientist competition - the competition received a record-breaking 1,152 entries this year.

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