Local students win international science competition prize

by Padraig Conlon

Two local students were judged best in the world at a recent science competition in Malaysia.

Kate Bagnall and Bobbi Beattie from The King’s Hospital School in Palmerstown were victorious at the World Statistics Congress 2019, which was held in Kuala Lumpur.

The girls claimed first prize in the junior category of the International Statistical Literacy Project Poster Competition, run by the International Association of Statistical Education (IASE) in collaboration with the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP).

They won with their submission titled “Using Statistics to Investigate Changing Use of Language in Irish Primary students’ writing after 80 years”.

Their teacher, Ciaran O’Connor, oversaw the project.

Their victory at this very prestigious competition is a great achievement by these two brilliant young local students who took on the world and won.

Bobbi and Kate’s project was created by using meticulous research on writings from Kate’s primary school, Kentstown National School in Kells, that has been archived for 80 years and compared to current primary school children’s.

They found many fascinating differences in how children describe people in their community and the world around them, particularly around gender and occupation.

Students from Bulgaria and South Korea placed second and third respectively, with an honourable mention going to the Spanish team for their entry.

The poster competition attracted entries from around 15,000 students, from 37 different countries, across all continents, including Ireland, the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia and across Europe.

Ireland also won the senior category, with Irish students from Bandon Grammar School, County Cork, with their poster titled “A Statistical Analysis of the Accuracy of 5-day Forecasts in Predicting Hot vs Cold Temperatures.

This is the first year in which Irish entries have won both the junior and senior categories simultaneously, and it shows the high standard of work being produced by Irish students.

Both the junior and senior winning entries receive a prize of €450.

Bobbi and Kate previously took home two prizes in January for their BTYSE Entry, Category Winners Social & Behavioural Sciences and Irish Special Research Award, for the same project.

Related Articles