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BT Young Scientists Competition

Two of our TY students had a busy few days at the BT Science and Technology Exhibition in the RDS. Alison Mulrine and Oisin Hughes undertook research into the nature of air pollution in the Twin Towns and the rates of occurence of respiratory ailments that may, in part, be caused by it.


They surveyed the frequency of inhaler use by residents of the Beeches Estate, and noted that there seems to be a lower frequency of inhaler prescriptions further up the hillside, where, they conjectured, the air was less likely to be as polluted as closer to the valley floor nearer the River Finn.

They passed air samples, from low down in the valley and further up the hillsides, through filters to see if there was a noticeable difference in staining due to the pollution - they have reported some difference, with the samples from within the Towns appearing slightly darker.

(Alison and Oisín pictured with Mairéad Mc Guinness MEP)

Lastly, they sought to compare the growth rates of lichen samples from gravestones in Drumboe and Glenfin. The data are not conclusive, but do suggest slower growth rates from the site closer to the Towns. Lichen are often used as indicators of air quality.

Mr O'Donoghue was their supervising teacher and Mr Brennan and Mr O'Donoghue assisted in the collection of air samples. Well done to Alison and Oisin