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students shortlisted for science prize

Talented applied science students from Bangor are looking at a bright future after being shortlisted for a prestigious science competition.

Beth Morrow, Eloise Nabi, Shannon Thompson and Victoria Hull are currently preparing for the competition in January when they’ll be off to Dublin to take part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

Stephanie Robinson and Jonathan Elder from the Lisburn Campus have also entered with their project which investigates antifungal uses of oregano to stop the growth of mould on silage. Their project involved finding a natural anti-fungal, which is safe for animals to feed when mixed with the silage.  

It’s the 54th year of the renowned competition, and the SERC students are among 21 projects from Northern Ireland shortlisted for next month’s contest. Beth and Eloise will be showcasing a project investigating ecological stress reduction within a college, while Shannon and Victoria are presenting a study on improving biodiversity within the urban landscape.

The exhibition 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.

As well as over 140 prizes for individuals, groups and teachers the exhibition also boasts a perpetual trophy with a substantial prize fund, while the overall winners of the 2018 exhibition in January will go on to represent Ireland in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists when it comes to Dublin next September.

BT’s acting managing director of NI Networks, Garret Kavanagh, said the company is proud to sponsor a competition that draws such a high standard of entrants. “As a leading technology company, we know how important it is to foster students’ interest in STEM subjects in every school in Northern Ireland to ensure that we have the necessary skills to move forward as a society,” he said.

“We want to inspire a future workforce of science and technology innovators. This is why we are so proud of our continued involvement with the Young Scientists Exhibition. The huge range of projects and student interests show how science and technology have a part to play in every aspect of our lives. “Once again, the standard of entries has been extremely high, making the judges’ job more difficult, than ever. Over the coming weeks, the finalists will be working hard to complete and present then projects and we can’t wait to see their extraordinary achievements on show in January.”

Ken Webb Principal and Chief Executive for SERC said he was “absolutely delighted” that the students have got this far and added:  “Their enthusiasm and commitment is a great inspiration for young people in the region. Science and the environment will only benefit from such initiatives and I wholeheartedly support the students in their adventure. I would like to wish the students and Science Department good luck in the high profile competition.”

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