How to get involved

The competition is open to second level students from Ireland, North and South, who are aged between 12 and 19 years on 31st October 2020.

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Everything you need to know about how to enter the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2021 is below! 🔽

What to enter… Age Group

Students can enter a project as an individual or share the work as a group entry. A group is defined as comprising of no more than three people from the same school. To give everybody an equal chance of winning, there are three age groups in which to enter:

 

Junior: 1st & 2nd Year (Rep of Ireland) Year 8, 9 &10 (Northern Ireland)

Intermediate: 3rd & 4th Year (Rep of Ireland) Year 11 and 12 (Northern Ireland)

Senior: 5th and 6th Year (Rep of Ireland) Year 13 & 14 (Northern Ireland)

Students who wish to participate in a group with others from a different age category will need to enter into the category of the oldest student.

What to enter… The Category Choice

Please study the definitions carefully and be careful to choose the correct project category. An incorrect choice may result in a project not being accepted.

Biological & Ecological Sciences 

For a project to be accepted into this category it must have a biological and/or ecological focus and investigate aspects of animal, human, microbial or plant biology. Typically, projects deal with the following areas of study: agriculture, anatomy, animal science, biochemistry, biotechnology, disease, ecology, environmental science, enzymology, forestry, food science, genetics, horticulture, medical science, metabolism, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, physiotherapy, plant science or veterinary science.

Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences

For a project to be accepted into this category it must be based on chemistry, physics, mathematics, applied mathematics, engineering, computer programming and language or electronics. Also eligible are projects based on earth and space sciences such as meteorology, geophysics, geology and astronomy.

Social & Behavioural Sciences 

For a project to be accepted into this category it must cover social and behavioural sciences, economic, geographical, psychological or sociological studies of human behaviour, attitudes and experience, social analysis of environmental factors, demography, learning and perception as well as the study of attitudes and behaviour in relation to health, nutrition, work, leisure and living habits are all included here. Also eligible are projects on consumer affairs, effects on society, social anthropology and political science provided they involve the use of scientific methods.

Technology

For a project to be accepted into the technology category the core of the project must be the use of technology in new or improved applications, enhanced efficiencies, new innovations or better ways to do things. The category could include things related to the Internet, communications, electronic systems, robotics, control technology, applications of technology, biotechnology innovative developments to existing problems, computing and automation. Students are also expected to understand the basic science behind the technology so that they can get the most from the project.

Preparing your “one page proposal”

When you have decided on a project and carried out some research and trial experiments, it is time to write your one page proposal. This helps you not only to organise your thoughts but also to prepare the case for your project.

The one page proposal is part of your on-line entry, and can be no more than 500 words long. We would advise that you write the proposal in Microsoft Word, or similar word processor and when you are happy with the content you should then cut and paste onto the on-line application.

The one page proposal should contain:

First, it would be helpful to indicate where you got the idea for this project and explain what is the purpose of doing the work, and how you propose to investigate the problem.

Next your description should say briefly what experiments you expect to do and show that the necessary equipment is available to you. Does your planning provide for sufficient time to carry out all the experimental work? What advice have you sought to help you?

Finally, you should give some indication of what findings you expect to obtain and how you will try to interpret the results. Overall the one page proposal should be considered as the research narrative about your project. It has to convey to the judges that yours is a scientifically interesting project, achievable in terms of the equipment available to you and the time needed to carry it through to completion.

Important points

Remember to mention any institutes or people you have contacted for information.

When you have completed the proposal please make three copies. Two of these must be given to your teacher as soon as possible. Keep the third one safe as a reference.

Although there may seem to be an area of overlap between the information sought from the one page proposal and the project details form, the idea is to give you an opportunity to write a descriptive piece about your study which will display your grasp of the topic. An extensive scientific vocabulary is not required. This concise description of your thoughts about the project and of the work that you intend to carry out is essential to the screening process.

A decision on whether or not a project qualifies for the Exhibition in the RDS in January, will be made on the basis of your initial application, so the one page proposal is very important.

The judges will screen all projects entered during October. All students will be communicated with as soon as possible afterwards to let them know if they have qualified or not for the Exhibition in the RDS As this process can take four or five weeks to complete, it is essential that students continue work on their projects while awaiting adjudication.

The ‘one page proposal’ outlining your project idea, together with completed entry forms and fees, must be submitted by MIDDAY Thursday 1st of October 2020.

How to use the online system

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