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The Word on the Week

Young Scientists

It has been 20 years or more since we visited the Young Scientists Exhibition so we took the opportunity to rectify the matter this week.

The first thing to strike you is the huge number of schoolchildren crammed into the RDS Hall. They had come by bus to support their school’s entry and to learn from the 550 projects that could be viewed.

There were 3,000 students manning these projects. Each had a descriptive board outlining the aims and summarising the findings. All were bursting with pride at having been chosen and were delighted to explain the inner workings and the thinking behind their presentation.

We were especially attracted to the primary schools section. There the enthusiasm knew no limits. We were fingerprinted, offered smells, given the sticky stuff of Coke residue and presented with flower seeds to plant to encourage bees!

A number of entrants had grown up on farms so their projects related to their environment. The majority of them suggested improvements in milking methods largely worked out on the home farm. One son of a sheep farmer offered a new method of fostering lambs which we will try out in the coming months!

The overall winners were 3 girls from a school in Kinsale which has a track record of winners at this event. They qualify for a European competition which has been won a number of times by students from Ireland.

The Bible has something to say about talents. It would seem that they are granted along with the ability to put them to good use. In other words the talent comes to the person who is fit for it and it’s when we do not use our talent that we are censured. (St Matthew chapter 25 verses 14/30.)

We are not to be content when people praise our natural ability but to recognise that it is a gift from God to be offered back to him that he might magnify it to his glory.

The greatest gift of God is that of salvation in which God gives the grace to nurture the talents he provides in an environment of self control. As St Paul puts it in his letter to Titus, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (chapter 2 verses 11 to 14).

Talents are precious gifts. Don’t squander them. Instead surrender them to God who knows how to produce the outcomes that really satisfy us and glorify him.