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Young scientists shine bright at national competition

The New Year got off to a high-profile start for applied science students after their projects received recognition at the prestigious BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

In the biological and ecological category Beth Morrow and Eloise Nabi were highly commended for their project which investigated ecological stress reduction within the College, while collegemates Stephanie Robinson and Jonathan Elder wowed the judges to take home second place for their project which investigated antifungal uses of oregano to stop the growth of mould on silage.

The students were among 21 projects from Northern Ireland to be shortlisted for the annual exhibition which is one of the largest and longest running science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) events in the world, and challenges students to imagine a big idea and bring it to life through research and development in a practical way outside of the classroom. Held in Dublin’s RDS the students were praised by judges for their innovative idea and scientific know-how.

The exhibition, now in its 54th year, is one of the largest and longest running STEM events in the world, which challenges students to imagine a big idea and bring it to life through research and development in a practical way, outside of the classroom.

Ken Webb, SERC Principal and Chief Executive said he was “absolutely delighted” about the success of the students.

He said “I would like to congratulate the students and science department for their success in the competition. It is encouraging to see such passion for science amongst our young students. It’s very important to nurture students’ interest in STEM subjects to ensure that we have the necessary skills to move forward as a society. This competition does just that.

“We are so proud of our continued success at the Young Scientists Exhibition. The students have spent months working hard to complete and perfect their projects and it is an extraordinary achievement to win an award at such a high-profile competition. The students and staff should be extremely proud.”

Collette Carson head of school for applied science and sport at SERC said: “The science team are very proud of the students. Being awarded prizes reflects the standard of work and effort they have put into this project. The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for students. Attracting over 50,000 visitors, the event is an excellent opportunity to highlight our talented youth on the international stage. The students were a credit to themselves, their families and the college and are an inspiration others considering the subject.”

The students narrowly missed out on the top spot. Nonetheless, judges were impressed with the calibre of competitors this year and applauded them all for their entries.

Tutor Bennett Chandran said “Throughout this academic year the students have been working hard to perfect their expertise in science and I am very proud of them. Taking part in such a high-profile competition is an excellent opportunity for them to enrich their studies and will look great on their CV.”

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