Irish Leaving Cert student aiming for global success at international science fair!
SciFest national champion, Caolann Brady, who is sitting her Leaving Certificate this year at St. Wolstan’s Community School, Celbridge, Kildare, Co. Kildare will represent Ireland at ISEF 2017, which will be held in Los Angeles California this week. Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, involving some 1,700 students from over 75 countries competing for a prize fund totalling $4million. The SciFest programme is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Boston Scientific and Intel Ireland.
Caolann secured her place at the international competition when she won the top award, the Science Foundation Ireland Intel ISEF award, at the SciFest 2016 national final last November. Her project focussed on the natural treatment of asthma through humming and breathing techniques.
Caolann was born with asthma and has suffered many asthma attacks which were treated by nebulisers. This sparked her interest in the area and led to her award-winning project ‘Hum your way to better health’. Research has shown that the ventilation of the paranasal sinuses (inhaling and exhaling) increases greatly when a person practised specifically defined humming techniques. Caolann set about exploring whether this was true or not by conducting a series of experiments with 175 participants. Her results indicated that the prescribed humming technique improves lung function across a range of ages, genders and breathing capabilities by an average of 10%.
Speaking about her award, Caolann said: “I am very excited to travel to California and to present my work to some of the top STEM professionals in the world. I am also looking forward to meeting young people from all over the world and seeing the different projects that they are working on. This is a wonderful opportunity and I am so thankful to my family, friends, teachers and everyone at SciFest who have supported me up to now.”
Sheila Porter, CEO, SciFest commented: “We are all very proud of Caolann and the work she has done. Participating in ISEF is a great opportunity and I am sure she will enjoy it hugely. SciFest is all about encouraging a love of science, technology, engineering and maths among young people and Caolann really embodies all of this. I look forward to seeing what she will achieve in the coming weeks, months and years.”