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NI Scientist of the Year

Northern Ireland’s Senior Young Scientist of the Year: A Beacon of Inspiration at Sentinus Young Innovators

In the vibrant halls of innovation and youthful ingenuity, where over a hundred aspiring young minds displayed the fruits of their intellectual labour, two of our Year 14 students pitched their ideas on “An Investigation into the Risk Factors Associated with Cardiovascular Disease”.

The Sentinus Young Innovators competition has always been a catalyst for young people to not only exhibit their science and engineering project work but also to vie for prestigious awards that recognize their hard work and innovative thinking. This year, the event was nothing short of spectacular, with a vast array of projects pushing the boundaries of science and engineering.

Saashi Ghaie and Emma Patterson embarked on an enlightening journey at the Sentinus Research Academy during the summer. Over four intense weeks, they delved deep into the pivotal factors influencing cardiovascular health: blood pressure, weight, sex, cholesterol and age with our students demonstrating a clear understanding of each factor’s implications.

On exhibit day, the air buzzed with anticipation. Each participant had their own project display board—miniature stages set for grand ideas. Judges, esteemed in their respective fields, including a medical lecturer from Queens University Belfast, a biomedical engineer, and a patent attorney, embarked on a rigorous five-round assessment of each project.

Both students presented with poise and clarity but one project stood out for its meticulous research and potential for real-world impact. This project included an optional extension task for which our student learned to code in “R”, showcasing not only versatility but also an eagerness to tackle complex challenges head-on. The optional extension, together with the innovation of a home device to improve circulation by synchronising leg compressions with diastolic heartbeat earned well-deserved recognition from the academy and it is with immense pride that I announce that Saashi clinched the Senior Science category and was rightfully crowned Northern Ireland’s Senior Young Scientist of the Year. This accolade not only recognizes the scientific acumen but also the dedication and passion she has for making a difference in the world.

As a school community, we are inspired by such achievements that underscore the importance of research and the pursuit of knowledge. This accomplishment not only adorns our school with prestige but also serves as a beacon to other students that with diligence, creativity, and a scientific mindset, they too can reach for the stars – or in this case, the heart.

Congratulations to both Saashi and Emma in their ceaseless pursuit of knowledge and to the young innovators who shape our future!

T. Reid

Curriculum Leader