Top honour for young scientist

A Donegal Student who devised a new method for estimating the weight of children has won one of the top awards at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

A Donegal Student who devised a new method for estimating the weight of children has won one of the top awards at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

Eoin Farrell (15) from St. Eunan’s College in Letterkenny came up with a new method of estimating the weight of children which is required when establishing what drug dosages they are given. The project earned him the Best Individual award at last week’s exhibition in the RDS in Dublin.

In producing the project, Eoin recorded the weights, heights and ages of 732 school children between the ages of 4 and 12 years and used the data he collected to check the accuracy of existing methods of weight estimation. The result of his work is a tape measure that can be used to estimate a child’s weight in a emergency situation where it is not possible to weigh the child.

Eoin got the idea for the project from a conversation with his mother who is a doctor in Letterkenny General Hospital. “I thought it would be a good idea to investigate as it could help sick children.” He described the experience as amazing and said he did not expect to do so well. “I was kind of surprised but it’s really great.”

Eoin’s father Jim, said: “I knew he put a lot of work into it so I was confident that he would get some sort of reward but I was flabberghasted that he came in second place.”

Eoin’s achievement was celebrated in the school on Monday morning when he was presented to students in the chapel. Addressing students at the school on Monday, Principal Chris Darby said Eoin’s was a spectacular achievement. “The project was simplicity itself. He did all the work himself, meticulously researched it. It did not look anything spectacular but it was the content of it and the way in which he did it.”

Science teacher Anne Coll added: “We are amazed and delighted by the level of competence from such a young scientist.”