BT Young Scientist winners come No 1 for biology in Europe

24 Sep 2013

Colm O'Neill, CEO, BT Ireland, and Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, TD, with the winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Emer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge from Kinsale Community School, Co Cork, earlier this year

The winners of the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow have been awarded first prize in biology at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Prague today.

The girls beat off competition from more than 120 students from 38 countries, ranging in ages from 14-20 to win the award worth €7,000 as well as an honorary award of an all-expenses-paid trip to the London International Youth Science Forum.

Ciara, Emer and Sophie from Kinsale Community College, Co Cork, won the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition prize for their project entitled ‘A statistical investigation of the effects of diazotroph bacteria on plant germination.’

Their project investigated the benefits of diazotrophs during the germination stage of plant growth. The girls statistically analysed the results of their investigations using the student T-test.

“In 25 years of competing at the EU competition, Ireland has now taken home the top honours 15 times, out-performing all other countries,” said BT Ireland chief executive Colm O’Neill.

“We believe this major award will add to the future career prospects for Ciara, Emer and Sophie, raise the profile of their school and teachers, and further boost the impressive international credentials of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. The girls have done us proud.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years