Mayor of Fingal David O'Connor with Maria Louise and Diana and Dr Mc Nally
Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce held an evening of celebration to honour the achievements of seven exceptional students from the Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan in the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan on Wednesday 3rd of February 2016. Six of those students won prizes, including the top award, at the BT Young Scientists Exhibition 2016 and one of the students won the Intel award for Sentinus Young Innovators 2015. In addition to their students’ achievements, Loreto Secondary School received NAPD Award for Best Republic of Ireland School.
Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce CEO Seán Corrigan welcomed the students, their families and teachers. The young ladies, Maria Louise, Diana, Renuka, Maria, Khadija, Emily and Lauren were still full of fresh memories from their meeting with President Michael D Higgins at the "Women in Science" reception held in the Aras an Uachtarain on Sunday last, and were beaming with pride and energy when they gave presentations of their research projects to a very captivated audience gathered in the Bracken Court Hotel.
The audience included Mari Cahalane, the Head of BT Young Scientist Exhibition and Dr Tony Scott, the co-founder of Young Scientist Exhibition. Dr Tony Scott and Rev Dr Burke, two UCD Physics researchers, visited science fairs in the US during the early 1960s and adapted the idea for Ireland. Subsequently, the first Young Scientist Exhibition took place in Dublin in 1965. Dr Scott praised the Loreto winners and noted: ‘They are all lovely young people with bright futures ahead of them.’
The winners of the overall prize, Maria Louise Fufezan and Diana Bura spoke about their findings of potentially detrimental effects of enzymes added to animal feed on soil fertility. They will represent Ireland at the 28th European Union Young Scientist competition in Brussels in September this year with their research project titled ‘An Investigation into the Effects of Enzymes used in Animal Feed Additives on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis Elegans’.
Maria Wyzykowska presented her research into ‘The effects of High Intensity Interval Training on cognition and academic performance of female Leaving Cert students’. Khadija Gull and Emily Tierney won two awards for their research project titled ‘Identification of alterations in members of the Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase’ (PTPs) gene family as novel therapeutic options for the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer’. Lauren Murphy won the Intel Award for Sentinus Young Innovators 2015 Overal Award. Lauren will represent Northern Ireland at the largest international pre-college Science Fair in the world held in Arizona in May 2016 with her invention of a hand held rehabilitation aid for MS sufferers.
Renuka Chintapalli won no less than three awards at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition for her research ‘Developing a predictive tool for identifying FLNc-associated biomarkers of oesophageal cancer metastasis ‘. Renuka is currently collaborating with a professor from Trinity College and is preparing to publish her findings in an international journal.
Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce were delighted to have hosted such a positive and happy celebration which is a boost for Balbriggan’s future.