SciFest, Ireland’s largest and most inclusive second level STEM fair programme took place recently, and it aims to give students of all abilities and backgrounds the opportunity to develop research, problem solving, critical thinking, and presentation skills.

Participation in the SciFest programme is free at all levels. Since its foundation in 2006, SciFest has grown from a single STEM fair of 170 students to 99 STEM fairs with 10,000 students participating around the country.

Ronan talks to Diarmuid Hayes one of the SciFest finalists. Diarmuid talks about his background, the SciFest National STEM competition, his SciFest project, Benford’s law and how he proved how accurate Ireland’s Covid data is.

More about Diarmuid:

Diarmuid Hayes is a student at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. Diarmuid investigated a a law in nature called Benford’s Law that all data follows. If the data does not follow Benford’s Law, then the data is likely fake and possibly manipulated either on purpose or accidentally.

He subsequently developed a dashboard test that incorporates Benford’s Law, statistical and graphical techniques to test if data is real or fake. The platform is a user-friendly application so that anyone can test data quickly and efficiently.

His innovative project will be helpful for scientists or students to be used as an analytical tool to check that their data is not biased in any way and will help identify if images or videos are fake or real so that public can be made aware of fraud, fake news, or scams.

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