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Award-winning young scientists not following the crowd

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ST BRENDAN’S COLLEGE picked up another piece of silverware last week when intrepid scientists James Knoblauch, Harry Knoblauch and Oran O’Donoghue won the Best Group award at the 54th BT Young Science and Technology Exhibition.

The 16 year olds, who are all currently in 5th year, also received the RTÉ Best Social & Behavioural Science Project Award. This accolade comes with a day shadowing a well-known RTÉ DJ.

The Sem students’ project, titled “An investigation into conformity and how minorities influence it”, demonstrated how one person can influence the behaviour of others using a unique approach to studying group dynamics. In two controlled psychology experiments, they focussed on the influence of an individual within a group setting.

The boys began work for their project in November when they found out they had qualified to exhibit their project at the BT Young Scientist and Technology competition in the RDS in January 2018.

In the course of their work for the project they designed their own social psychology experiment which they ran on over 100 students from St Brendan’s College and the nearby St Brigid’s secondary school. Their broad sample size provided their results and they received an average rate of conformity of 40% from that research. To further legitimise their findings, the boys took the historically famous Asch Experiment and changed it so it was a minority influence experiment. They then used 45 students from their school as participants and recorded an average rate of conformity at 35%.

Given the proximity of the results (35% to 40%) the boys concluded that across multiple groups there is a fairly consistent rate of conformity at approximately 37.5%.

The boys had a great week representing their school at the exhibition and were interview by Will Goodbody of RTÉ News, Kevin O’Sullivan of the Irish Times and by the BT Young Scientist Media team. The boys were also visited by Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, South Ireland MEP Séan Kelly and RTÉ weather lady Evelyn Cusack.

“It was a really enjoyable experience,” said James Knoblauch, “and all of us on the team had a great time in Dublin”.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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