Reigning BT Young Scientist champions Ian O’Sullivan and Eimear Murphy today revealed the mystery that has surrounded activity at Dublin’s Silicon Docks this week by announcing the launch of the 2016 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE).
On Monday night, an anonymous glass cube appeared floating on Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock, igniting much curiosity and discussion on social media as onlookers tried to find out the purpose of the cube and its contents. From a pink elephant to an extra-terrestrial family, the objects inside the cube compelled people to use their imaginations to understand what they might symbolise.
The display was created by BT to mark the launch of the 2016 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and today the company called on secondary school students across the island of Ireland to get involved. To enter, the individual or group must submit a one-page proposal outlining their project idea before the closing date of 29th September, 2015. Entries can be made in any one of four categories: technology, social and behavioural science, biological and ecological science or Chemical, physical and mathematical science.
Eimear Murphy and Ian O’ Sullivan from Coláiste Treasa in Cork were crowned overall winners in January 2015, with their project entitled ‘Alcohol consumption: Does the apple fall far from the tree?’ The project explored the potential influence that parents have on their adolescent children’s alcohol consumption through their own drinking and their attitudes towards drinking.
Commenting at today’s launch Ian said, “Winning the competition has been life-changing, but more than that – it really is the taking part. We met students from across the country and made great friends during the week in Dublin. Some of the experiences are once in a lifetime opportunities; for example, we’re going to Milan in September to represent Ireland at the EU contest for Young Scientists. It’s a great thing both personally and for our school, so I’d encourage every student in Ireland to enter.”
Eimear added, “Timing your entry for the exhibition is really important. We had been thinking about entering over the summer months and developed our idea after returning to school in September. After our proposal was accepted, we used the autumn months to carry out our research which was the foundation of our project. I would recommend anyone thinking about entering to tease out their ideas no matter how wacky they seem. The exhibition is all about imagination and discovery and it has been one of the best life experiences I’ve had so far.”
Colm O’Neill, chief executive, BT Ireland, said, “Ireland is one of the top locations globally for attracting investment from the world’s leading technology brands, including BT. We depend on talent and skills to drive our economy and the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition plays a key role in nurturing that future pool of talent.”
He added, “People who have experienced the exhibition understand that it is about much more than science, it’s about imagining an idea and then bringing that idea to life through research and development. Every discovery ever made came from a single idea and we want all teachers and
students involved in science, technology, engineering, maths or the social sciences to challenge themselves to make that next big discovery through the exhibition. I’m looking forward to seeing some great entries over the coming months.”
BT calculates that more than 72,000 students have entered over 34,000 projects in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition over the past 51 years. Many of the exhibition’s alumni have gone on to become distinguished scientists, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs including Ireland’s youngest billionaires, Patrick and John Collison from Limerick. More recently, Emer Hickey, Ciara Judge and Sophie Healy Thow, winners of the BTYSTE in 2013, were last year named in TIME magazine’s list of the world’s most influential teenagers.
The 52nd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 6th
– 9th January, 2016. As well as the opportunity to have your project shortlisted and experiencing a week at the exhibition in Dublin, there are also over 120 teacher and pupil awards to be won, including cash prizes, international trips and the overall title of BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year. For more information on the exhibition and for details on how to enter, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com or follow the exhibition on Twitter @BTYSTE.