Young Scientists return to Cork school as winning heroes

Young Scientists return to Cork school as winning heroes
Pictured are Cormac Harris and Alan O'Sullivan, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, with Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan, Mayor of Cork County, Lord Mayor Cllr John Sheehan and Denis Leamy, CE of Cork ETB, during the homecoming at Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan

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.

Pictured are, Cormac Harris and Alan O'Sullivan, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, welcomed into the school, during their homecoming at Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan
Pictured are, Cormac Harris and Alan O'Sullivan, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, welcomed into the school, during their homecoming at Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan

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.

Pictured are Alan O'Sullivan and Cormac Harris, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, with Michelle Sliney, Principal Colaiste Choilm, Karina Lyne, BT Young Scientist Mentor and Science teacher at Colaiste Choilm and 2018 BT Winner, Simon MeehanPicture: Jim Coughlan
Pictured are Alan O'Sullivan and Cormac Harris, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, with Michelle Sliney, Principal Colaiste Choilm, Karina Lyne, BT Young Scientist Mentor and Science teacher at Colaiste Choilm and 2018 BT Winner, Simon MeehanPicture: Jim Coughlan

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.

Pictured are, Alan O'Sullivan and Cormac Harris, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, welcomed by their TY Classmates.Picture: Jim Coughlan
Pictured are, Alan O'Sullivan and Cormac Harris, 2020 BT Young Scientist winners, welcomed by their TY Classmates.Picture: Jim Coughlan

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.

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