Friday, 14th January 2011: The winner of the 47th annual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition has been announced! 15 year old Alexander Amini from Castleknock College, Dublin has taken home the overall prize for his project entitled, “Tennis sensor data analysis”. The announcement was made by Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Ms. Mary Coughlan, T.D and Graham Sutherland, CEO, BT Ireland, at the awards ceremony held this evening at the RDS in Dublin. Alexander, a 4th year student, was entered in the Technology category, Intermediate section.
Alexander was presented with a cheque for €5,000, a Waterford Crystal trophy and the opportunity to represent Ireland at the 22nd European Union Young Scientist competition taking place in Helsinki, Finland this coming September.
There was a 35 percent surge in entries to the Technology category in 2011, with students such as Alexander increasingly deploying technology to invent practical solutions to improve everyday situations and issues.
Graham Sutherland, CEO, BT Ireland said, “It is not exaggerating to say that, after 47 years, there was certainly something extra special about the 2011 exhibition. Throughout this week, these students have raised our spirits, and given us hope for the future with their confidence, ideas, and can-do attitude.”
“Congratulations to Alexander and all the winners – their work is inspirational and deserves to be showcased through a world-leading event like the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. I look forward to watching their progress in the coming years,” he added.
Leonard Hobbs, Judge, Technology category said, “This project analyses data from wearable sensors worn by a tennis player and identifies different types of shot (e.g. backhand drop-shot, forehand volley, sliced serve etc). The sensors, produced for Dublin City University and Tennis Ireland, continuously track the speed and orientation of the player and their racquet. The shot classification is carried out using sophisticated data mining techniques. An average accuracy of 95 percent was achieved for 12 different strokes, which is higher than results achieved in other published research.”
Further awards presented tonight included Best Group which went to 4th year students Thomas Cronin, Dylan Cross and Jeremy Barisch-Rooney from Colaiste Muire, Crosshaven, Co Cork for their project entitled “DIY wind power – portable community generators for the Third World.
The award for individual runner-up went to 5th year student James Doyle, Presentation de la Salle College, Carlow for his project entitled “The potential of waste materials from hedgerow cuttings as a feasible biomass fuel. 17 year old James was entered in the Biological & Ecological Sciences category, Senior section.
The award for group runner-up went to Kinsale Community School, Cork 1st year students Ciara Judge, Royanne McGregor and Sophie Healy-Thow for their project entitled “A statistical analysis of public attitudes to cholesterol and its control.” The girls were entered in the Social & Behavioural Sciences, Junior section.
It takes 20 tonnes of aluminum, 6,000 square meters of carpet, 12 x 40 foot trucks full of equipment, 1,000 hours of judging, thousands of light bulbs and 135 men and women to prepare the hall for the exhibition. Almost 40,000 people are expected to pass through the doors of the RDS during the week for the exhibition which continues tomorrow Saturday, 15th January 2011. Doors are open from 9.30am to 5pm.
For more information on the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition please visit www.btyoungscientist.com or twitter.com/btyste
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