….High commendation for Our Lady’s students

Congratulations to three Transition Year students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney, Maria Duffy, Laura Christie & Tara Quinn who were highly commended in the Social & Behavioural Sciences section at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition with their project entitled ‘Absenteeism as a result of Type 1 Diabetes’.

The aim of the girls’ project was to investigate the level of absenteeism from school, college or the workplace due to Type 1 Diabetes and the resultant impact of this on the lives of the sufferers. Their work was completed under the instruction and guidance of Science teacher Ms Kathryn Higgins.

The girls used all the resources at their disposal, engaging with social media and set up a survey on Facebook and Twitter, receiving 346 replies. Having analysed the data the girls concluded that people with Type 1 Diabetes do lose more days from school than their non-diabetic siblings and greater than the national average. The main reasons for absences are diabetic-related appointments but also high/low blood sugars, diabetes related stomach ache, fatigue and feeling down. 

The girls’ project generated a lot of interest at the exhibition with very many of the attendees in full agreement with the recommendations ensuing form the study:

  1. Introduce a national educational programme for all providing information on the causes, treatment, effects and management of Type 1 Diabetes.
  2. Provide diabetics with the opportunity and facilities to check blood sugars and administer insulin regularly in all school and employment settings.
  3. Set up more community-based diabetic clinics where diabetics can access a full range of healthcare professionals in the same place in their local area on the same day including clinician, diabetes nurse, podiatrist, dentist, psychologist and optician.

The students and their teacher spent evenings after school, weekends and even part of their Christmas holidays analysing, charting and compiling data for the project, the reward being four fantastic days at the Young Scientist exhibition in the RDS, where their project generated much interest and discussion. The girls engaged with thousands of people and were very grateful for the many people who visited their stand including many local representatives from Cavan Monaghan. Of course the students also enjoyed the ‘fun’ side of the exhibition and managed to win the after event quiz which involved 54 teams!

The three girls and their parents are extremely grateful to Ms Higgins, for affording them the opportunity to complete this study. It has been an invaluable learning experience for each of them. Well done to all concerned.

Pictured at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition during the week are TY students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney whose project ‘Absenteeism as a result of Type 1 Diabetes’ received a high commendation. Students, Tara Quinn, Maria Duffy & Laura Christie are seen here with their teacher and mentor, Ms Kathryn Higgins. Congratulations to all concerned!