SciFest 2023 Award Winner

Posted on : May 9, 2023

Well done to Sophie Swann who has won the Royal Society of Chemistry Award at this year’s SciFest. She won the award for her project in which she did a study of microorganisms present on natural and artificial sports/playing surfaces. Sophie is a hockey player and this study was particularly interesting to her as she has played on a variety of different playing surfaces over the years. She concentrated her study on Astro Turf and natural grass pitches. She compared the populations of fungi, yeasts, moulds and bacteria on both types of playing pitches to see which one posed the greater risk of infection for players. She used contact agar plates to culture the microorganisms and, with the aid of Aideen Considine from ATU, was able to identify the Microorganisms present. The results revealed that Astro Turf is safer than natural grass and has the added advantage that it can be cleaned.  

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