A teacher’s story on entering BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

Our school had always entered the BT Young Scientist competition in the past and had been very successful over the years under the supervision of Mr McKenna. Mr McKenna retired in 2010 and we hadn’t entered a project until 2016, when he helped a student enter their project in his own time. I had visited the exhibition and knew from Mr McKenna that preparation for the competition was very demanding but having experienced the event in 2016, we decided to enter three projects in the 2017 competition. One of the greatest challenges for the entry form was thinking of a project which was new, innovative and different. After the initial application, two out of three projects were accepted and the real work began. Pupils came in at lunchtime and after school and a lot of extra time was put in. On 30 December we got a call to say that a project had withdrawn from the competition and our third project was invited to take part. Our initial reaction was that we couldn’t get the project ready in 11 days, and the pupils weren’t even back to school until the 9 January to get any experiments done. However, having been at the exhibition the previous year, I knew how much our pupils would enjoy it and so myself and my colleague Mrs Katrina Brolly, really encouraged them to go for it. It was definitely a mammoth task ahead! Getting to the event BT were very good helping us with the grant etc, but other than myself and Mrs Brolly, staff members in the school were not really aware what...

A view from St Killian’s College Carnlough

I decided to enter BTYSTE six years ago.  Some year 13 pupils had a project they had started when taking part in the First Lego League competition and I thought it was good enough to develop into a product, and wouldn’t require much more work to finish it to a good standard.  I knew the standard at BTYSTE was high so I made sure that the pupil’s application to enter was well written. The pupils were keen to go to Dublin so they put a good effort into the project but it didn’t interfere with their normal AS classes. The application was successful but we didn’t know what to expect in Dublin. The time and effort required for a good project could be compared to the time and effort you would put into a school team involved in sport over a two to three month period. Now every year as soon as we come home from Dublin we start thinking up new projects for the following year. Getting support is vital I have great support from our own school and the headmaster was keen to promote BTYSTE as well.  There is great support from BT with a dedicated help line to for BTYSTE from N. Ireland and you can contact them for information or if you need any help.  The Dept. of Education is also very supportive and invites all entries from Northern Ireland to Stormont for a buffet lunch, photo opportunity and recognition of efforts. The challenge when you know you are going to Dublin is to get the project finished to a good standard which will give...

40% of second level students not choosing science or technology as perceived ‘too difficult’

BT reveals research findings as it launches the 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Study reveals that participation in events like the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition has a strong influence on third level degree choices School and peers identified as most important influencers in developing interest in science and technology 98% of third level students surveyed could not identify an Irish scientist or technologist BT Ireland today launched the 54th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), calling on secondary school students across Ireland to begin their preparation for the 2018 event in January. To mark the launch of the 2018 exhibition, BT commissioned an independent survey of third-level students to identify levels and origins of interest in science and technology. The research revealed that participation in events like the BTYSTE has a strong influence on the future pursuit of science and technology at third level. However, 40% of students still perceive science and technology subjects as ‘too difficult’. Last year, the BTYSTE recorded the highest ever number of entries proving that the popularity of the exhibition and engagement in STEM events is growing year on year. However, the research illustrates that there is still work to be done to promote the value of choosing science and technology subjects at secondary school level. Key findings revealed that: 40% say they didn’t take science for their Leaving Cert or consider it for third level as they found the subject too difficult One in three had no interest in science or technology whatsoever Despite the volume of Irish technology and science entrepreneurs making their mark, only 2% of...

5th Year Dublin student Shane Curran announced as winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Dublin, Friday, 13th January 2017: The winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) has been announced.  Shane Curran, aged 16, a 5th year student from Terenure College, Dublin 6, has taken home the top prize for his project entitled ‘qCrypt: The quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology’. The announcement was made in the BT Arena at Dublin’s RDS this evening by Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland. Shane competed in the senior section of the Technology category. Shane’s award includes a prize-fund of €5,000, the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Tallinn, Estonia later this year. Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said, “It is wonderful to see so many students entering the world of STEM through the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Initiatives such as this have a critical role to play in raising awareness and engagement around science and technology and the impact it has on every aspect of our lives. I would like to congratulate every student, teacher and school community involved for their fantastic work this week. The Exhibition is a highlight for the education calendar every year, and I am delighted that BT will continue to support this event until 2020.” Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, said; “It has been an incredible exhibition that has captured the imaginations of tens of thousands...

BT announces support for Active Communities Network and Rio Ferdinand Foundation across island of Ireland

Rio Ferdinand and BT encourage young people to ‘Dream it, Do it’ at a special event at BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 12 January 2017 – BT, Active Communities Network (ACN) and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation (RFF) will join forces today at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) to announce BT’s support for a programme designed to promote entrepreneurial and tech skills, youth leadership, and social mobility amongst young people across the island of Ireland. Active Communities Network deliver frontline projects, primarily through sport and cultural activity, to engage young people in education, mentoring and training, and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation delivers skills, employability and employment programmes. Both will collaborate with BT to share best practice, offer mentorship, tech skills training and development opportunities for young people in socio-economically deprived communities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The scheme is designed to help build career aspirations and employability skills amongst participants disadvantaged by lack of access, opportunity, or role models. The announcement will be made at a special event this afternoon at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, featuring Rio Ferdinand, founder of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and former England football captain. The event, which also features broadcaster Aidan Power, Williams Formula 1 Racing CIO Graeme Hackland, BTYSTE alumni Abdul Abubakar and Emily Duffy, and genetics student Avril Watson, is designed to inspire young people from every walk of life to consider careers in science and technology. Speaking about the event, Rio Ferdinand said “The Rio Ferdinand Foundation, ACN and BT share a vision to help young people develop the skills and confidence...
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