Three years of research behind project of Tipp winners of BTYSE

Minister for Education, Norma Foley and BT Ireland Managing Director, Shay Walsh, presenting the award to Shane O Connor and Liam Carew of Abbey School, Tipp Town at the BTYSE Exhibition 2023 at the RDS Dublin

It took the Tipperary winner of the BT Young Scientist three years of research to execute their project.

The students from The Abbey in Tipp Town, Shane O’Connor and Liam Carew, won with their project assessing the impact of secondary education on aspects of life and development for young people.

They told Tipp Today that the curiosity in the subject began after junior cycle and they started their work in 2020, and by 2022 had surveyed 2,500 students and 220 teachers.

Their aim was to assess the different experiences students can have in different school models, as well as tracking the impact of Covid.

Shane explained one of their key findings:

“In the Déis school they rated sort of lower in the first wave of the study but then between wave two and wave three they had take action to correct that and we saw that they improved their physical health and it strongly correlated to improved social interaction and mental health as well, so we saw that one simple action really had an exponential reaction.”

They now go on the European Young Scientist in September representing Ireland.

But despite the celebrations it’s straight back to class for the two Tipperary students.

Both say that their work may guide them towards a third level degree in Sociology or Psychology.

However, before that Liam told Tipp Today they still have exams to sit:

“Look this is a big deal and all but … back to normal tomorrow and back to class. “