Three fifth year students from St. Joseph’s Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland have made it through to the finals of the Young Scientist Competition. The competition will take place on January 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th in the RDS in Dublin.
The Young Scientist competition started in Ireland in the 1960’s and its aim is to promote an interest in science among students in primary and secondary schools.
Under the watchful eye of their teacher, Dayna Hurley; Gillian Hanifan, Molly O’Callaghan and Tamara Horan have been working hard to gather and analyse the results of their project entitled Investigation to find if plants can decrease the levels of nitrates in water caused by pollution.
“t was decided that the focus for the Young Scientist project would be a natural way to decrease water pollution. Taking inspiration from Frog Environmental, the students have taken samples of water from various parts of the county,” said Ms. Hurley.
“These waters were tested for nitrates and nitrites levels, which are pollution indicators. Plants were floated in each of the water samples to find out if the plants could reduce the levels of these pollution indicators.
“While the experiment is still ongoing, the students have found a significant decrease in the levels of these pollution indicators. This could, potentially be used on a larger scale if the waters of Kerry were to become polluted again.
“This year, there was a record breaking 2048 entries to the Young Scientist competition and this project was one of the 550 to get through to the final. This is a great achievement for the students and for St. Joseph’s as we are the only school in Castleisland to make it to the finals this year,” said a delighted Ms. Hurley.