THE winners of this year’s BT Young Scientist competition received a hero’s welcome when they returned to their school in Ballincollig today.
Transition year students from Coláiste Choilm, Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, scooped the top prize at the event in Dublin on Friday.
Their project was entitled “a statistical investigation into the prevalence of gender stereotyping in five to seven-year-olds and the development of an initiative to combat gender bias”.
They won €7,500, along with the overall trophy.
Today, fellow students and staff gave them a huge welcome home.
The pair have been friends since junior infants in Ovens National School.
Alan said they now hope to work together to develop their research further, to allow more analysis of their results.
Cormac hit back at online criticism of the decision to award the top prize to their project, saying the only thing that is important is that the project has shone a light on gender bias.
The students conducted workshops with 376 children from a range of schools.
The children were given tasks, including choosing between gender-specific and gender-neutral toys; drawing and naming an engineer, and rating male and female competency at a number of gender-specific roles.
In one of the tasks, 96% of boys drew a male engineer while just over 50% of girls drew a female engineer.
The students are following in the footsteps of another Coláiste Choilm student, Simon Meehan, who won the top prize two years ago.