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HRB Prize at BT Young Scientist

16 January 2017

Congratulations to Sophie Weldon, Laura Weldon and Emma Kleiser Byrne, from Loreto Secondary School in Balbriggan, County Dublin who won the HRB Special Prize for their project, 'Does consuming certain varieties of potatoes as a staple food in a diet, increase blood glucose levels & chance of high blood pressure and diabetes in a sample of Rush residents'.

Dr Siobhan Hendrick, HRB with Sophie Weldon, Laura Weldon, Emma Kleiser Byrne, Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Co Dublin

This is the second year running that the HRB Special prize has gone to the school. 

Their project was inspired when Sophie and Laura's grandfather, a potato farmer all his life, was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. His condition would mean that he would have to cut back on, or eliminate altogether, his favourite food.

The girls wanted to see whether the variety of potato, and the way that it was cooked, could affect the glucose (sugar) content?

They found large differences in glucose levels in raw samples of the different varieties. And they also found that the cooking method influenced the glucose levels too, with baking coming out as the cooking method that ended up with the highest glucose content. 

The girl's project was one of several from Loreto, Balbriggan that won an award at this year’s competition. Congratulations must also go to their science teacher Niamh McNally who won the award for Educator of Excellence.

Along with the HRB Special Prize Sophie, Laura and Emma also won 1st Place in the Intermediate group category.

Watch a quick video of some highlights from the entire exhibition at:

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