Cork student ‘unmasks’ our new habits at BT Young Scientist Exhibition

Cork student ‘unmasks’ our new habits at BT Young Scientist Exhibition

Finn Brady who was recently awarded third place in the BT Young Scientist Virtual Exhibition in the Intermediate Individual Social and Behavioural Science Category, for his project entitled 'The Psychological and Social Impact of Face Masks/Face Coverings on Society'

A Macroom secondary school pupil has been honoured for examining the psychological and social impact of face masks.

De La Salle College Macroom transition-year pupil, Finn Brady, was awarded third place in the ‘intermediate, individual social and behavioural science’ category at the BT Young Scientist Virtual Exhibition, for his project, ‘The Psychological and Social Impact of Face Masks/Face Coverings on Society’.

Finn set out to investigate how masks have affected our lives and how we socially interact.

Additionally, he examined how they have impacted people’s mental health and how we may have adapted new social cues.

Finn was thrilled with his third-place finish. “It is a great achievement,” he said. “I am delighted. I want to acknowledge the role the school played. All the teachers were a huge help to me.”

Finn had noticed how people interacted with each other when they had face coverings on, and that prompted the project.

“I have noticed the differences between people since they had to wear visors and face masks,” Finn said. “My findings are that our society has to rely more on the eyes for communication, as opposed to the mouth.

“I also discovered that many people avoid conversation when they see people, because of the hassle of speaking while wearing a face mask. Face masks have affected us hugely, both socially and psychologically.

Science teacher Aisling Kelleher said that everybody associated with De La Salle College was proud of Finn.

“It was a massive achievement,” Ms Kelleher said. “He is a great student. The standard of work he produced was nearly college level, rather than second level,” she said.

Ms Kelleher said that the main findings of Finn’s research were that our society is shifting more towards the Eastern culture.

“His findings touched on a load of different areas, such as dealing with Eastern cultures, as they wear face masks more regularly, and then you have the Muslim countries, where they have to communicate through the eyes. His findings found that our society is shifting more towards the Eastern culture,” she said.

De La Salle College secondary school also had three other pupils who performed well in the recent BT Young Scientist Virtual Exhibition awards. 

“The school is very proud of Finn and another three lads, Fionn Crowley, Dylan Wenger, and Martin Olfkey, who did so well with their technology project. They were a pleasure to work with. They are all great ambassadors for the school,” Ms Kelleher said.

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