The BT Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS is an annual, high profile and highly competitive event in which secondary school students from across the country showcase their innovation and skills across a number of Science and Technology categories. 2019 was no exception. The first stage is to qualify for the RDS and with 1,803 entries for only 550 opportunities to present at BTYSE 2019, this was the first hurdle. For Rory and Robert Troy, students at C.B.S. Charleville, this first hurdle was smashed with their innovative project design of ‘Smart Sliotar – A ball tracking device’.
Rory and Robert set the research question of “How can each score during a GAA hurling match be awarded with scientific certainty?” To develop this project they researched and carried out experiments with multiple technologies for suitability and effectiveness in goal line technology. Their work and presentation in the area of technology saw them scoop the Jack Resten Displays Special Award and there was huge excitement in the C.B.S. Charleville camp when Rory and Robert were called to the stage early on in the awards ceremony. Technology was the final category of the evening before the announcement of the overall winner of BTYSE 2019. In the Junior Technology Category Rory and Robert Troy were awarded 2nd place, a highly deserved honour for these two hardworking students and their project. Their Science teacher, Ms Maria Kelly, mentored and facilitated the students throughout their project and connected with areas of industry that could support the further advancement of the project. The whole school community is very proud of the achievemnet of Rory and Robert (2nd year and 1st year respectively), walking away from the RDS with two national awards. Their stand at BTYSE had some very high profile visitors throughout the exhibiton days including Kevin O Keefe TD, Micheal Martin TD, Dee Forbes Director General RTE, Shay Walsh MD of BT Ireland, Pat Mulcahy All Ireland Intercounty and Club winner, Simon Meehan BTYSE winner 2018, Seán Kelly MEP and of course their fellow school mates in C.B.S. Charleville. All First Year students travelled to visit the Exhibition on Thursday 10th of January accompanied by Ms Ann Meaney, Year Head, Ms Tracey Groome, Deputy Principal and Ms Maria Kelly Coordinator of BTYSE in the school. This visit has them already talking about and brain-storming ideas for next year’s competition.
Rory and Robert, their science teacher Ms Maria Kelly and C.B.S. Charleville would like to express their thanks to all those who supported the work of these students in developing their idea. We consulted with several technical experts who informed our research and for this we are very grateful. Thanks to David Curran, Electronic Engineer, William Coughlan, Electrician, Paul Collins, Design Pro and Automation, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, Shane Murtagh, Korec (GPS Technology), Dr Joe Connell, Head of Electrical Engineering, CIT and Conor Long, Long Distribution.
We also consulted with Inter-County referees, GAA players, GAA Managers and personnel all of whom were very helpful and generous with their time and knowledge. We thank especially; Conor Twomey local Primary School teacher and member of Cork Senior Hurling panel, Pat Mulcahy former Cork Senior Hurling Captain and All-Star, the Gaelic Players Association, Richard Murphy former Inter-County referee, Conor Lane All-Ireland Senior Football final 2018 referee, John Sexton former Inter-County Referee and Chairman of Munster GAA referees, the Munster GAA Referees, Newtownshandrum GAA club, Sean O’Donnell Statistician with Limerick Senior Hurlers and Pat Daly, GAA Director of games. We would like to acknowledge the guidance and help we received from Dr Emmanuel Popovici, Dept. of Electrical Engin-eering UCC.
We would like to part-icularly acknowledge the exceptional generosity and kindness of Mike Cronin and Sinead Scully, Johnson Controls International, Cork, for the use of their equipment without which this project could not have been completed. We are very grateful for their expertise and time.
Initiating, preparing, completing and presenting a project at the standard required for the BT Young Scientist is a challenge and both Rory and Robert embraced this unique opportunity and as well as two awards they have also learned lifelong skills that they can apply to all aspects of their future study. Well done from all at C.B.S. Charleville.