Charmaigne O’Connor and Carol O’Donnell of St Josephs College, Athlone won the marine award, sponsored by the Marine Institute at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition held at the RDS in Dublin last week (11th January 2008). The winning project entitled “The Impact of the Extraction of Water from Lough Ree to Dublin” was entered in the Biological and Ecological section of the BT Young Scientist competition and highlighted the potential impacts of Dublin City Council’s proposal to extract 300 million gallons of water from Lough Ree on the environment and spawning of trout and pike in this region.
Dr. John Joyce, Communications manager of the Marine Institute said “It is gratifying seeing the remarkable increase in Marine related projects entered in the competition this year and I wish to congratulate St Josephs College on their award. We have been supporting the BT Young Scientist and Technology Festival for many years now and see it as an ideal window to promote marine science in the world of education”.
O’Connor and O’Donnell said completing this project made them realise the importance of maintaining and protecting our aquatic environments. “We are delighted to win the Marine Institute sponsored award” said O’Connor. “Starting this project in May 2007, we were able to examine the conditions that the pike and trout live in and found that if there is a significant drop in water levels their environments would be significantly effected”.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition received 1,416 entries for 2008 from 31 of the 32 counties. Five hundred of the projects submitted qualified and competed in the finals.