Kilmanagh class shows older students more easily ‘blinded by the brand’

The group from St Aidan's NS wowed judges with their research at the RDS Primary Science Fair


Padraic O Conchuir (BT), Minister Eoghan Murphy meet pupils Amy Walton, Molly Conroy, Emma Marnell (12), Siobhan Kenny (14), Sarah Butler, Joanne Brennan and teacher Vivienne Ryan

Older pupils are more susceptible to the power of brand names, and girls are more susceptible than boys, according to new research from the children at St Aidan’s National School in Kilmanagh.

The school’s sixth class recently exhibited their project at the RDS Primary Science Fair which ran alongside the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin. It’s the fourth year in a row that a class from St Aidan’s has exhibited.

This year’s project —‘Are we blinded by the brands?’ — aimed to discover if students’ tastebuds are deceived by branding. They carried out their research over a four-week period.

The work involved questionnaires, surveys and a number of taste tests. The children randomly selected four volunteers (two boys and two girls) from a junior, middle and senior room.

They carried out taste tests on them with their eyes open, and then repeated the same taste test a second time, but this time the participants were blindfolded. This was to determine if they would choose the branded product with their eyes open compared to a generic product when blindfolded, such as tap water versus ‘Ballygowan’ brand water.

Having recorded their predictions and observations, tallied and measured their surveys and results the class concluded:
The senior pupils were most ‘blinded by the brands’; girls were more ‘blinded by the brands’ than boys; the junior pupils were least ‘blinded by the brands; the Penguin chocolate bar brand influenced them the most, while Squeez orange juice influenced them the least.

The class, together with their teacher Miss Ryan and Principal Robbie Byrne, exhibited from 9am to 3.30pm on the day and enjoyed an interactive, educational day out, exploring other projects, shows and stalls in the secondary section of the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.

They were interviewed by ‘News2Day’, and Minister Eoghan Murphy dropped by their stand, where he also took a taste test. Finally, they were presented with a plaque from the judge and each child received a certificate of participation.

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