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Farming projects among BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition winners
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Farming projects among BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition winners

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Plants, barley, silage and farm safety featured in the prize-winning projects.
Plants, barley, silage and farm safety featured in the prize-winning projects.

Farming and food projects were among the winners of the coveted BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition on Friday night.

The overall winner was confirmed as Simon Meehan, aged 15, a transition year student from Colaiste Choilm in Cork.

He took home the top prize worth €7,500 for his project entitled Investigation into the Antimicrobial effects of both aerial and root parts of selected plants against Staphylococcus aureus .

Meehan Simon selected nine locally sourced plants, such as asparagus, nettles and blackberries, to test for the presence of chemicals which could potentially be used to control bacterial infection. The leaves of the blackberry plant were shown to contain a chemical which prevented the growth of different bacteria.”

In the group category, the runner-up award went to Darragh Twomey, Neil O’Leary and Andrew Heffernan from Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co Cork.

Their project, entitled Feeding 9.6bn people by 2050 included a field study to increase food production in a sustainable manner.

They treated barley with a specific strain of bacteria and found it increased the yield of varieties of the crop. This project also collected the Teagasc special award.

Within the biological and ecological category, second place in the senior group section went to South Eastern Regional College in Lisburn for a project on the antifungal uses of oregano to stop the growth of mould on silage.

The ABP Food Group Farm Safety Award went to Wicklow’s Colaiste Chraobh Abhann team, for their project on the use of a mechanism on the gates of a livestock trailer to decrease farm injuries.

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