BT Young Scientist 2020

We extend our very best wishes to our students Aoibhe O’Halloran and Taibou Gavi, ( both from Sanchez class), who will compete at the BT Young Scientist competition at the RDS from 8 – 11 January. The girls will join the other young scientists from all over the country at the exhibition of over 500 projects.

Inspired by the overall interest in the environment among young people, Taibou and Aoibhe researched how biodegradable plastics can be made and went on to make three different biodegradable plastics using different sources of starch (cornflour, rice flour, tapioca). They then investigated if the presence of these in the soil would adversely affect the germination of seeds and the growth of the seedlings.

Armed with several seed trays, rulers, plastics, compost and radish seeds, they monitored the growth rates of the young seedlings in compost containing fragments of the different plastics. They were then in a position to make comparisons. They also examined if it made any difference if the plastic was partially degraded before the seeds were planted in the medium.
Furthermore, they carried out tests on the plastics: the effect of heat on the plastics, the effect of submerging them in various liquids including tap water, salt water and various soft drinks and the effect of the weather on the plastics.
The girls have been working on their project since early September and are now looking forward to displaying their work at the RDS. The title of their project is : Do biodegradable plastics adversely affect the growth of plants? It is in the Junior section of the Biological and Ecological Sciences category.