A school that opened last September with 68 pupils has got off to a cracking start in the BT Young Scientist competition.

When the exhibition opens today, six of the 550 projects will be from first years in Coláiste Dun an Rí, Kingscourt, Co Cavan.

The school was up and running only five weeks when enthusiastic students submitted their entries, which span a range of topics and include a focus on healthy eating, protein in the blood which may be an indicator of a heart attack, breast feeding, what animals young people are most afraid of, how much washing-up liquid you should use, and nursing homes as opposed to living at home.

Proud principal Fergal Boyle said they had made a concentrated effort in the school - which operates under the umbrella of the Cavan Monagahan Education and Training Board - to focus on the STEAM subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.

"Our science teacher , Ms Hickey, really focused on getting the students ready for the competition and we are delighted. It is especially good given that there were no projects selected from Cavan last year."

Eight pupils - pictured left - account for the school's six projects, which, in turn, make for two-thirds of the nine projects from Cavan featuring in the RDS show.

The 550 projects being showcased were selected from a record 2,000 entries.