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General

The Entry Process Explained

Entering the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a great opportunity for both teachers and students. This renowned science competition provides a platform for young minds to showcase their scientific talents, explore their interests, and make a real impact.

There are a number of stages to the entry process:

1. The entry stage:
a) The database opens in July and all students, whether individuals or members of a group must register for a new account each year, teachers can reuse their account but remember to change the school details is you have moved to a new school.
b) All students must validate their accounts, once this is done you can raise a project
c) Student in Progress
i. The lead or individual student can raise a project and in the case of group projects invite other students to the group
ii. Questions are completed and one page proposal entered, make sure to watch the word and character counts
iii. When student is happy with everything they must complete/submit their part of the entry
iv. Payment per student can be made at this stage
d) Teacher in Progress
i. The student has completed their work and the project is ready for the teacher assessment to be completed.
ii. All students on the project should be visible on the teacher dashboard
iii. Confirm that category and age group are correct
iv. Complete the teacher assessment questions and submit the project

2. Screening stage
a) Completed
i. This means that the student and teacher stages are finished and the project is ready for the judges to review.
It is important to note that only projects with a completed status are sent to the judges for screening.

3. Results stage
a) Screening Completed
i. The judges have finished their review but results haven’t been released as there is an issue with payment
b) Qualified
i. Your students project has qualified for the exhibition in January, you need to inform your student of the result
ii. Students will receive an email inviting them to complete a confirmation card to accept their place for January
c) Non-Qualified
i. Your student’s project has not been successful and has not qualified for the exhibition in January, you need to inform your student of the result.

Only those projects with a status of qualified are eligible to display their project in January, ‘Student in Progress’ and ‘Teacher in Progress’ have not been reviewed by the judges.

4. Acceptance stage
Once your teacher notifies students of the results, those successful students will receive an email with a confirmation card, this must be returned but the specified date to accept your place if not it will be offered to someone on the reserve list.

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Benefits of Entering

Benefits of entering the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Entering the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition offers numerous benefits for both teachers and students. This renowned science competition provides a platform for young minds to showcase their scientific talents, explore their interests, and make a real impact.

Here are some key advantages of participating in the exhibition:

1. Fosters Scientific Inquiry: The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition promotes curiosity, critical thinking, and scientific inquiry. Students engage in hands-on research projects, encouraging them to question the world around them and develop problem-solving skills.
It nurtures a scientific mindset and prepares students for future academic and professional endeavours.

2. Enhances STEM Skills: By participating in the exhibition, students gain valuable experience in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They learn how to conduct research, collect, and analyse data, design experiments, and communicate their findings effectively. These skills are highly transferable and valuable in today’s technology- driven world.

3. Encourages Collaboration: The exhibition provides a platform for students to collaborate with peers, teachers, and industry professionals. Through teamwork, students learn to leverage diverse perspectives, share responsibilities, and develop effective communication and interpersonal skills. Collaborative experiences foster innovation and teach students the importance of working together towards a common goal.

4. Builds Confidence and Presentation Skills: Presenting a project at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition requires students to communicate their research findings to judges, teachers, and the public. This experience boosts their self-confidence and helps them develop effective presentation skills. Students learn how to articulate complex scientific concepts in a clear and concise manner, an invaluable skill for future academic and professional endeavours.

5. Exposure to Industry Professionals: The exhibition attracts a wide range of professionals from various industries, including scientists, engineers, and researchers. Students can interact with these experts, receive valuable feedback on their projects, and gain insights into potential career paths. This exposure can open doors for internships, mentorship opportunities, and further collaboration.

6. Recognition and Awards: The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is highly regarded and recognized nationally and internationally. Participating students have the chance to receive prestigious awards and accolades, which can greatly enhance their academic and professional profiles. Winning an award can also provide access to scholarships, grants, and other opportunities.

7. Networking Opportunities: The exhibition serves as a hub for like-minded students, teachers, and professionals passionate about science and technology. It offers networking opportunities where students can connect with peers who share similar interests, exchange ideas, and form lasting relationships. These connections can lead to future collaborations and support in pursuing scientific endeavours.

8. Inspiration for Future Generations: By participating in the exhibition, students become role models for their peers and younger students. Their enthusiasm and dedication to scientific research inspire others to take an interest in STEM subjects and explore their own scientific passions. It creates a positive ripple effect within the school community, encouraging more students to engage in scientific inquiry.

Overall, the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a remarkable platform for students
and teachers to explore the world of science, develop essential skills, and make a meaningful contribution to the field. It not only prepares students for future academic and professional success but also instils a lifelong love for scientific exploration and discovery.

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Coming up with a project

Getting project ideas

Generating project ideas for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition can be an exciting process.

Here are some methods to help you come up with project ideas:

1. Identify Your Interests: Start by considering your own interests, hobbies, and passions. Think about subjects or topics that genuinely intrigue you. It could be anything from biology, chemistry, or physics to environmental science, computer science, or psychology.

2. Explore Current Topics: Stay updated with the latest scientific advancements, breakthroughs, and research in various fields. Read science magazines, browse reputable websites, and follow science news outlets to discover emerging topics that might inspire your project.

3. Brainstorming Sessions: Organise brainstorming sessions with classmates, friends, or teachers. Discuss different scientific concepts, real-world problems, or areas where you think scientific investigation could make a difference. Encourage each other to think creatively and bounce ideas off one another.

4. Talk to Experts: Seek guidance from teachers, mentors, or professionals in the field. They can offer insights into current research trends, suggest potential project ideas, and provide advice on practicality and feasibility.

5. Previous Projects: Review projects from previous years to gain inspiration. While you should aim for originality, these projects can serve as a starting point to develop new ideas or build upon existing concepts.

6. Everyday Observations: Pay attention to your surroundings and everyday experiences. Many scientific questions can arise from observations of natural phenomena, environmental factors, human behaviour, or technological advancements.

7. Problem-solving Approach: Consider real-world problems or challenges that you would like to address through scientific investigation. Think about how science can contribute to finding solutions or improving existing systems.

8. Collaborate with Others: Collaborate with classmates or form study groups to brainstorm ideas collectively. Working together can spark innovative ideas and broaden your perspective. Remember no more than three students are allowed per group.

9. Online Resources: Explore online science project databases or resources specifically designed for high school science fairs. These platforms often provide project ideas, experiment guides, and helpful tips for designing and executing experiments.

10. Personal Experiences: Reflect on your own experiences or hobbies. Is there a particular aspect or phenomenon that you find interesting and want to explore scientifically? Consider how you can apply scientific principles to investigate and understand it better.

Remember, it’s important to choose a project that aligns with your interests and resources while being feasible within the given time frame. Once you have a few ideas, evaluate them based on their scientific merit, practicality, and potential impact. Consult with your teachers or mentors for guidance and choose a project that excites you.

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Research Guidelines

Research Guidelines

A set of guidelines to help students carry out research as part of their projects for BTYSTE.

1. Choosing a Topic:

  • Select a topic that aligns with your interests and curiosity.
  • Consider the feasibility of the project based on available resources, time, and expertise.
  • Ensure the topic is appropriate for your age group and aligns with the competition’s guidelines.

2. Defining the Research Question:

  • Clearly define a research question that outlines the problem you aim to address or investigate.
  • Ensure the question is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

3. Background Research:

  • Conduct thorough background research to understand the existing knowledge and previous work related to your topic.
  • Consult reputable sources such as scientific journals, books, and reliable websites.
  •  Take detailed notes and cite your sources accurately.

4. Experimental Design:

  • Plan and design your experiment carefully to address your research question.
  • Identify the variables involved (independent, dependent, and controlled variables).
  • Determine the materials, equipment, and procedures needed to conduct the experiment.

5. Data Collection:

  • Collect data systematically and accurately using appropriate methods.
  • Use reliable measurement techniques and tools.
  • Record data carefully, ensuring clarity and organization.

6. Data Analysis:

  • Analyse your data using appropriate statistical or analytical methods.
  • Look for patterns, trends, and relationships within the data.
  • Use graphs, charts, or tables to present your findings effectively.

7. Results and Conclusions:

  • Summarize your findings based on the data analysis.
  • Interpret the results and draw meaningful conclusions that directly address your research question.
  • Discuss any limitations or uncertainties in your findings.

8. Documentation and Presentation:

  • Maintain a detailed record of your research process, including procedures, observations, and results.
  • Prepare a clear and concise project report or research paper, following appropriate formatting guidelines.
  • Create a visually appealing presentation that highlights the key aspects of your research.

9. Ethical Considerations:

  • Adhere to ethical guidelines and consider any ethical implications of your research.
  • Obtain necessary permissions or approvals if working with human subjects, animals, or sensitive materials.
  • Ensure the safety of yourself and others throughout the research process.

10. Time Management:

  • Plan your research timeline, considering the competition’s deadlines and any other commitments.
  • Break down your tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
  • Allocate sufficient time for each phase of the research process, including data collection, analysis, and report writing.
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Creating a one-page proposal

One Page Proposal

As part of your entry, you will need to create a one-page proposal that explains to the judges what you intend to cover in your project, below are some guidelines to help you with your entry and one page proposal.

1. Title: Choose a concise and informative title that captures the essence of your project.

2. Overview: Provide a brief introduction to your project, including the background and motivation behind it. Clearly state the problem or question you aim to address.

The one-page proposal should cover the following:

3. Objective: Clearly define the objective of your project. State what you aim to achieve or the specific research question you plan to answer.

4. Methodology: Describe the methods and procedures you will use to conduct your project. Provide an overview of the experimental design, data collection methods, or analytical techniques you will employ.

5. Significance and Innovation: Explain why your project is important and how it contributes to the existing body of knowledge. Highlight any unique or innovative aspects of your approach.

6. Expected Results: Discuss the anticipated results or outcomes of your project. State what you expect to discover, prove, or demonstrate through your research.

7. Timeline: Outline a timeline for your project, including key milestones and deadlines. Briefly mention the major tasks or experiments you plan to complete within specific timeframes. If you project is going to take a long time period and you already have some work completed, please mention this as the judges may think the project is too large for the normal fourteen-week timeframe.

Below are optional items that you may include if you have the word count available:

8. Resources and Budget: Mention the resources you will need to complete your project, such as equipment, materials, or software. If applicable, include a budget estimate or any funding sources you have secured.

9. Potential Impact: Discuss the potential impact of your project on the scientific community, society, or a specific field. Explain how your findings or technological advancements may benefit others.

10. Conclusion: Summarise the main points of your proposal and reiterate the importance of your project. Emphasise its feasibility and the potential for success.

Remember to proofread your proposal for clarity, conciseness, and adherence to the word count and font size requirements. Entries that exceed the word count for the one-page proposal may not upload correctly to the entry form.

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Common Mistakes

Common mistakes

When working on a project, students may encounter some common mistakes or weaknesses.

Here are a few examples:

1. Lack of Planning: One common mistake is a failure to plan adequately. Students may jump into a project without a clear roadmap or timeline, leading to disorganisation and inefficiency. Proper planning includes defining goals, breaking tasks into manageable steps, and establishing deadlines.

2. Insufficient Research: Inadequate research can limit the depth and quality of a project. Students may overlook important background information or fail to explore existing studies and literature related to their topic. Thorough research helps students understand the context, identify knowledge gaps, and refine their hypotheses or research questions.

3. Weak Experimental Design: Students may struggle with designing experiments that
effectively address their research objectives. This could involve using inappropriate methods, insufficient sample sizes, or flawed data collection techniques. A weak experimental design can compromise the validity and reliability of the project’s findings.

4. Inaccurate Data Analysis: Mishandling or misinterpreting data is another common weakness. Students may make errors in data entry, fail to use appropriate statistical analysis methods, or misinterpret the results. It is essential to employ sound statistical techniques and ensure accurate data analysis to draw valid conclusions.

5. Lack of Time Management: Poor time management can lead to rushing through project components, missing important deadlines, or feeling overwhelmed near the submission date. Students may underestimate the time required for different tasks, leading to a compromised project quality. Effective time management skills are crucial to maintain a balanced and well- executed project.

6. Ineffective Communication: Communication is essential for sharing project progress and findings. Students may struggle with presenting their work in a clear and concise manner, both in written reports and oral presentations. Inadequate communication can hinder the understanding and impact of the project, making it challenging to convey its significance to judges and audiences.

7. Limited Troubleshooting Skills: Science projects often encounter obstacles or unexpected challenges. Students may struggle with troubleshooting and problem-solving, leading to frustration or abandoning the project altogether. Developing the ability to adapt, think critically, and troubleshoot is crucial for overcoming hurdles and ensuring project success.

8. Lack of Collaboration: Collaboration can enhance a project’s quality and breadth. However, students may face difficulties in working effectively with teammates, teachers, or mentors. Poor collaboration can result in miscommunication, conflicting ideas, or an uneven distribution of responsibilities. Learning to collaborate and leverage diverse perspectives is essential for a successful project.

Awareness of these common mistakes and weaknesses can help students proactively address them. Encouraging students to reflect on their work, seek feedback, and continuously improve can mitigate these challenges and enhance the overall quality and learning experience of their projects.

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Ethical Considerations

Ethical Considerations in Scientific Investigations and Applications

Introduction:

Scientific and technological investigations and applications require adherence to rigorous methods and ethical considerations. It is essential for students participating in such endeavours to justify their involvement of individuals in research and prioritise the protection of their wellbeing, dignity, and privacy. Additionally, the welfare of animals involved in investigations must be respected, and any experimentation in natural environments should strive to avoid adverse impacts.

Here are some key ethical and safety considerations:

1. Ethical Conduct: Students must adhere to ethical guidelines when conducting their research. This includes obtaining informed consent from participants, respecting privacy and confidentiality, and ensuring the well-being and welfare of any living subjects involved in the project. Students should also avoid plagiarism by properly citing and crediting the work of others.

2. Animal and Human Subjects: If a project involves the use of animal or human subjects, students must ensure compliance with ethical guidelines and applicable regulations. This may involve obtaining approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an appropriate ethics committee. Students should prioritize the humane treatment of animals and ensure the protection of human subjects’ rights and well-being.

3. Safety Precautions: Students must prioritise safety throughout their project. This includes identifying and mitigating potential hazards associated with experimental procedures or equipment. Students should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), follow laboratory safety protocols, and seek guidance from teachers or mentors when working with potentially dangerous substances or equipment.

4. Risk Assessment: Conducting a thorough risk assessment is essential to identify and minimize potential risks associated with the project. Students should evaluate the potential hazards, both to themselves and others, and develop strategies to mitigate those risks. This includes properly handling chemicals, using equipment correctly, and implementing safety measures to prevent accidents or injuries.

5. Responsible Use of Technology: In projects involving technology, students should consider the responsible and ethical use of data, software, and other technological resources. Respecting intellectual property rights, avoiding unauthorized access or data breaches, and ensuring data privacy are important aspects of responsible technology use.

6. Environmental Impact: Students should be mindful of the potential environmental impact of their projects. This includes proper disposal of waste, minimising the use of harmful substances, and considering sustainable practices. Students can explore ways to reduce their project’s carbon footprint and promote environmentally friendly solutions.

7. Scientific Integrity: Upholding scientific integrity is crucial for maintaining the credibility and reliability of research. Students should report their findings accurately, avoid selective reporting or data manipulation, and acknowledge any limitations or uncertainties in their results. Honesty and transparency are fundamental principles in scientific research.

By emphasizing ethical conduct and safety precautions, students can ensure that their projects are not only scientifically rigorous but also responsible and respectful. Teachers and mentors play a vital role in guiding students and promoting a culture of ethical behaviour and safety awareness throughout the project development process.

Conclusion:

Integrity and ethical conduct are crucial aspects of scientific and technological investigations and applications. Students participating in these endeavours must justify the involvement of individuals, ensuring the protection of their wellbeing, dignity, and privacy. Similarly, the welfare of animals and the conservation of natural environments should be respected and upheld. By upholding these ethical considerations, students contribute to the responsible and sustainable advancement of science and technology.

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3 Minute Video

This is a guide outlining the video requirements for your BT Young Scientist project:

1. Video Length: The video should not exceed 3 minutes in length. Participants should aim to convey their project’s key aspects within this time frame.

2. Content: The video should focus on either demonstrating the project in action or providing a detailed description of the project. Competitors can choose the approach that best showcases their work.

3. Clarity and Conciseness: Participants should strive for clear and concise communication. Present the project’s main objectives, methods, and results in a manner that is easy to understand for both scientific and non-scientific audiences.

4. Language: Use appropriate language and terminology for the intended audience. Avoid jargon or highly technical terms unless necessary, and explain any specialised terms used in the video.

5. Visuals: Utilise visuals effectively to enhance understanding. Graphs, charts, images, or footage of the project in action can help convey the information more effectively. Ensure that visuals are clear and legible.

6. Audio: Ensure that the audio is clear and audible. Use a high-quality microphone if possible and speak clearly and confidently. If there is any narration or spoken content, it should be easily understandable.

7. Music: Do not include any background music in the video. This requirement helps maintain a fair and equal playing field for all participants end ensures that no copyright issues are encountered.

8. Profanity and Inappropriate Content: Ensure the video does not contain any profanity, offensive language, or inappropriate content. Maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the video.

9. Product Placement: Avoid any form of product placement or promotion of specific brands or products within the video. The focus should solely be on the project and its scientific merit.

10. Video Format: Participants should submit their videos in a commonly used video format such as MP4, AVI, or MOV. Ensure the video is of good quality and can be easily viewed by the judges and members of the public.

11. Submission Guidelines: You will be provided with a link to upload your video once your project has qualified and you have completed your confirmation card. The deadline is the 13 December, late submissions may not be included in the portal for the opening of the exhibition.

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Data Collection and Analysis

A Comprehensive Guide to Sampling as a Method of Collecting Data and Analysing for BTYSTE

Introduction:

Sampling is a crucial method of data collection that allows scientists to collect representative data efficiently. In this guide, we will explore the concept of sampling and provide a step-by-step approach to implementing it for your science project. Additionally, we will discuss various methods for analysing the collected data, including summarising, comparing patterns, and conducting t-tests.

I. Understanding Sampling:

  1. Define Sampling: Sampling involves selecting a subset of individuals or items from a larger population to represent it as accurately as possible.
  2. Identify the Population: Determine the group or population from which you want to draw conclusions.
  3. Determine the Sample Size: Decide on the number of individuals or items you need to include in your sample.
  4. Choose a Sampling Technique: Select an appropriate sampling technique based on your project’s objectives and constraints (e.g., random sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling, convenience sampling).

II. Implementing Sampling:

1. Random Sampling:

a. Simple Random Sampling: Every individual or item in the population has an equal chance of being selected.

b. Systematic Sampling: Selecting individuals or items at regular intervals from an ordered list.

c. Stratified Sampling: Dividing the population into distinct groups (strata) and selecting a proportionate number from each group.

d. Cluster Sampling: Dividing the population into clusters, then randomly selecting entire clusters for inclusion in the sample.

2. Data Collection:

a. Develop a Data Collection Plan: Determine the specific data you need to collect and design appropriate data collection tools (e.g., questionnaires, observation forms).

b. Implement the Data Collection Plan: Administer the data collection tools to the selected sample, ensuring consistency and accuracy.

III. Analysing the Data:

1. Summarising Data:

a. Descriptive Statistics: Calculate measures such as mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation to summarise and describe your data.

b. Graphical Representations: Create charts, graphs, or plots (e.g., bar graphs, pie charts, histograms) to visually represent your data.

2. Comparing Patterns:

a. Comparative Analysis: Compare data between different groups or variables to identify patterns or differences.

b. Correlation Analysis: Determine if there is a relationship between two or more variables using correlation coefficients or scatter plots.

3. t-Test:

a. Definition: A t-test is a statistical test that compares the means of two groups to determine if they are significantly different.

b. Conducting a t-test: Choose the appropriate type of t-test (e.g., independent samples t-test, paired samples t-test) based on your research question and data type. Calculate the t-value and compare it with the critical values to determine significance.

Conclusion:

Sampling is a valuable method for collecting data in science fair projects. By understanding the concepts of sampling and implementing appropriate techniques, you can gather representative data efficiently. Furthermore, analysing the collected data through summarization, pattern comparison, and statistical tests like t-tests will help you draw meaningful conclusions and support your project’s objectives. Remember to document your methodology and results carefully to ensure transparency and credibility in your science fair project.

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Is external help allowed

Guidelines for external help in science fair projects

Introduction:

The use of external help in your BT Young Scientist project is subject to certain guidelines and expectations. While it is permissible to seek advice or information from sources beyond the school, it is essential that most of the project work be conducted by the students themselves, under the supervision of their teachers. When students engage in experimental or research work in external laboratories or facilities, it is crucial to clearly identify and acknowledge this in their project report book and presentation. A cover letter from the external facility describing the extent of assistance provided should also be included in the project report book.

I. Conducting Project Work:

1. Preferred Locations: It is expected that most of the project work will be conducted either at school, home, or in the immediate outside environment.

2. Visiting Distant Locations: Certain projects may require visits to distant locations, and such circumstances should be reasonable and justifiable.

II. Seeking Advice and Information:

1. Sources of External Help: Students are allowed to seek advice or information from sources beyond their school, including the internet, government organisations, universities, institutes of technology, or subject matter experts.

2. Supervision and Involvement: The primary responsibility for supervising the project work should rest with the relevant teacher, with appropriate involvement from parents, guardians, or responsible adults as needed.

III. External Experimental/Research Work:

1. Identifying and Acknowledging: If students conduct experimental or research work in an external laboratory or facility, it is crucial to clearly identify and acknowledge this in the project report book and presentation.

2. Cover Letter Requirement: A cover letter from the external facility should be included in the project report book, describing the extent of assistance provided and the specific work carried out by the students or on their behalf.

Conclusion:

External help can be sought for BT Young Scientist projects, but it should be within the established guidelines. The primary focus should be on conducting most the work under the supervision of the teacher and with suitable involvement from parents or responsible adults. When students engage in experimental or research work in external facilities, it is essential to identify and acknowledge such work in their project report book and include a cover letter from the external facility describing the assistance provided. By adhering to these guidelines, students can maintain transparency, integrity, and accountability in their project.

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Plagiarism and how to avoid it

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism in Research and Competition

Introduction:

Plagiarism involves using someone else’s ideas or words without proper acknowledgment of
the original source. It is essential to give credit to sources when utilising others’ ideas, opinions, theories, quotations, facts, statistics, or any information that is not common knowledge. This applies to both written and spoken words, regardless of the information source. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in immediate disqualification from the competition, as stated in Rule 1.13.

I. Recognizing Plagiarism:

1. Using Another Person’s Ideas, Opinions, or Theories: When incorporating someone else’s concepts, viewpoints, or theories into your work, it is crucial to provide proper attribution to the original source.

2. Quoting Another Person’s Words: Directly citing someone’s spoken or written words requires accurate quotation marks and citation to acknowledge the source.

3. Utilizing Non-Common Knowledge Information: Any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings, or information that is not widely known must be properly cited to credit the source.

4. Paraphrasing Another Person’s Words: Even if you rephrase someone else’s spoken or written words, proper attribution is necessary to acknowledge the original source.

II. Application of Guidelines:

1. Regardless of the Source: These guidelines apply universally, irrespective of the origin of the information. Whether the information comes from books, websites, journals, interviews, or any other medium, proper citation is necessary.

2. Importance of Giving Credit: Crediting the sources not only demonstrates academic integrity but also allows readers and evaluators to access the original information and validate your work.

III. Consequences of Plagiarism:

1. Disqualification from the Competition: Any form of plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification from the competition, as stated in Rule 1.13.

2. Academic and Professional Implications: Plagiarism can have severe consequences beyond the competition, including tarnished reputation, academic penalties, and limited opportunities for future research or professional pursuits

Conclusion:

Understanding and avoiding plagiarism is crucial in maintaining academic integrity and ensuring fairness in research and competitions. Giving proper credit to the sources of ideas, opinions, theories, quotations, and non-common knowledge information is necessary. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification from the competition and have broader academic and professional implications. By respecting intellectual property and upholding ethical standards, researchers can contribute to the integrity of their work and foster a culture of honesty and originality.

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Keeping a project diary

Keeping a Project Diary

This is a guide to help students create a project diary to cover their work from the initial decision
to enter the competition through to their final report production and experiments/data analysis, a project diary can help with the final report book and preparation for the judges, it does not have to be very detailed but will help keep a record of what you have done from the start of your project. Below are just some ideas but every project is different so include what suits you project best.

1. Introduction: Start your project diary by introducing yourself and providing a brief overview of your project. Explain your motivation for participating in the competition and outline the goals you hope to achieve.

2. Research and Planning: Document your initial research and brainstorming process. Note down any potential project ideas, research articles or resources you come across, and discussions with mentors or team members. Describe how you narrowed down your focus and decided on a specific project topic.

3. Project Proposal: Detail the process of developing your project proposal. Include drafts, feedback received, and revisions made. Describe how you refined your research question, defined your objectives, and finalised your methodology. This will be part of your entry form.

4. Experimental Design and Data Collection: Record the steps taken to design your experiments or data collection methods. Include sketches, diagrams, or flowcharts to illustrate your setup. Document any challenges faced, modifications made, or pilot experiments conducted.

5. Data Analysis and Results: Document your data analysis process. Describe the software or statistical methods used, the parameters examined, and any significant findings or trends observed. Include graphs or tables summarising your results.

6. Iterative Development and Troubleshooting: Note any iterations or improvements made to your project. Document any issues encountered, troubleshooting steps taken, and how you overcame them. Include any modifications to your experimental setup or methodology.

7. Reflections and Learnings: Reflect on the progress of your project. Write about the lessons learned, new skills acquired, and any unexpected discoveries made. Discuss any changes in your approach or perspectives based on the outcomes of your project.

8. Final Report Production: Record the process of compiling your final report. Document the organisation of your report, writing drafts, incorporating feedback, and making revisions. Describe how you structured your report, including sections such as introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

9. Conclusion and Future Directions: Summarise your project diary by reflecting on your overall experience. Discuss the significance of your findings, the impact of your project, and any future directions or extensions you envision. Express gratitude to those who supported you throughout the process.

10. Appendices and Supporting Materials: Include any relevant supporting materials, such as research papers, data sheets, or photographs, as appendices to your project diary.

Remember to regularly update your project diary, preferably on a daily or weekly basis, to ensure you capture the details and progress of your project accurately. This diary will serve as a valuable record of your journey from start to finish and provide insights for your final report and presentation.

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Creating a project report book

Project Report Book

This guide is to help students create a project report that adheres to the given requirements:

1. Title Page: Include the title of your project, your name, the date, and any other necessary details.

2. Table of Contents: Provide a clear and comprehensive list of sections and subsections in your report with corresponding page numbers.

3. Abstract/Executive Summary: Write a concise summary of your project, including the objectives, methods, major findings, and conclusions. Keep it within one page.

4. Introduction: Introduce your project and its background. Clearly state the problem or research question you aimed to address.

5. Literature Review: Summarise the relevant literature and studies that support your project. Provide context and establish the significance of your work.

6. Methodology: Briefly describe the experimental design, measurements, and data collection methods. Refer to the appendix for the detailed procedures.

7. Results: Present the key results of your project, highlighting the most important findings. Use tables, graphs, or charts to illustrate your data.

8. Discussion: Interpret your results and discuss their implications. Analyse any patterns, trends, or discrepancies. Compare your findings with previous studies and explain any inconsistencies.

9. Conclusion: Summarise your project and its outcomes. Emphasize the significance of your findings and their potential impact. Discuss any limitations or areas for further research.

10. References: Cite all the sources you referred to in your report using a standardized referencing style (e.g., APA, MLA).

11. Appendices: Include detailed information that supports your project, such as the full experimental methods, measurements, or calculations. Place surveys or questionnaires in the appendix as well.

Ensure that the main body of your report, excluding the appendices, does not exceed 50 pages. Use clear and concise language, proper formatting, and appropriate headings and subheadings to enhance readability.

Remember to proofread your report for clarity, coherence, and adherence to the given guidelines. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Please print two copies of the report and bring them with you to the exhibition, the round 1 judge will take one copy away and it will not be returned to you until Saturday.

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Referencing for your report book

Referencing for your BT Young Scientist project report

1. Use a recognised referencing style: Choose a recognized referencing style such as APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), or Harvard Referencing.

2. Cite all sources: Whenever you use information from an external source, whether it’s a book, research article, website, or any other medium, make sure to provide proper citations. This includes both direct quotes and paraphrased information.

3. Include in-text citations: In-text citations are used within the body of your project report to indicate when you are using information from a specific source. These citations help readers locate the full reference in your reference list. The format for in-text citations varies depending on the referencing style you are using.

4. Create a reference list: At the end of your project report, include a reference list that provides complete details about each source you cited in your report. The format and order of elements in the reference list also depend on the chosen referencing style.

5. Include necessary information in citations: Make sure to include the necessary information for each source, such as the author’s name, publication year, title of the article/book, publisher, URL, and page numbers (if applicable). The required elements vary depending on the type of source and referencing style used.

6. Be consistent: Maintain consistency in formatting and citation style throughout your project report. Use the same referencing style and follow the guidelines consistently across all citations and references.

7. Cross-check your references: Before submitting your project report, double-check all your citations and references to ensure accuracy. Verify that all in-text citations correspond to the correct reference entry in the reference list and ensure that all the information is complete and formatted correctly.

8. Seek clarification when in doubt: If you encounter any uncertainties or have specific questions regarding referencing, consult a reliable style guide or reach out to your teacher, supervisor, or competition organizers for clarification.

Remember, these are general guidelines, below are some different referencing types.

Here is a list of commonly used referencing styles:

1. APA (American Psychological Association) style: This style is widely used in social sciences, education, and psychology. It emphasises the author-date citation format and has specific guidelines for formatting in-text citations, references, and the overall structure of research papers.

2. MLA (Modern Language Association) style: MLA style is commonly used in humanities disciplines such as literature, language, and cultural studies. It focuses on the author-page citation format and provides guidelines for in-text citations, works cited page, and overall paper formatting.

3. Chicago style: The Chicago Manual of Style is used in various disciplines, including history, literature, and social sciences. It offers two citation systems: the notes-bibliography system, which uses footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography, and the author-date system, like APA style.

4. Harvard referencing style: Also known as the author-date system, Harvard style is commonly used in the social sciences and natural sciences. It features in-text citations with the author’s name and publication year, along with a reference list at the end of the document.

5. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) style: IEEE style is primarily used in engineering, computer science, and related fields. It provides guidelines for in-text citations and reference lists for different types of sources, including journals, conference papers, and technical reports.

6. Vancouver style: The Vancouver system is commonly used in biomedical and health sciences. It employs a numbered citation system, where references are sequentially numbered in the order they appear in the text and listed numerically in the reference list.

7. AMA (American Medical Association) style: AMA style is used for medical and scientific writing. It provides guidelines for formatting in-text citations, reference lists, and other elements specific to medical literature.

8. Turabian style: Based on the Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian style is commonly used in history, social sciences, and humanities. It offers simplified guidelines for student papers, including formatting citations, footnotes, and bibliographies.

These are just a few examples of referencing styles. Remember the important thing is to make sure you reference any material you have used that was not your own.

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Visual Display

The Visual Display

You will need to create a visual display to explain your project at the exhibition. These guidelines aim to help students create an effective A0 poster for their projects:

1. Overall Layout:

  • Use a landscape orientation for the poster.
  • Divide the poster into logical sections, such as Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Conclusion.
  • Ensure a clear flow from one section to another, guiding the reader through the project.

2. Title and Author Information:

  • A header board will be provided which will have the project title and school name
  • You may want to include more details on your display.

3. Introduction:

  • Provide a brief introduction to the project, capturing the reader’s attention and explaining the project’s significance.
  • Clearly state the research question or problem being addressed.

4. Methodology:

  • Describe the experimental design or methodology used to conduct the research.
  • Include sufficient details to enable the reader to understand how the project was carried out.
  • Use diagrams, flowcharts, or images to illustrate the experimental setup or procedure.

5. Results and Data Presentation:

  • Present the findings and data in a clear and visually appealing manner.
  • Utilise graphs, charts, tables, or diagrams to represent the data.
  • Provide labels, legends, and appropriate units of measurement for clarity.
  • Highlight any trends, patterns, or significant observations in the results.

6. Analysis and Discussion:

  • Interpret the results and discuss their implications.
  • Explain any patterns or relationships observed in the data.
  • Relate the findings back to the research question or problem stated in the introduction.

7. Conclusion:

  • Summarise the main outcomes and conclusions of the project.
  • Emphasise the significance of the findings and their potential impact.
  • Mention any future directions or further research possibilities.

8.  Visuals and Illustrations:

  • Use high-quality images, diagrams, or illustrations to enhance understanding.
  • Ensure that visuals are relevant, clearly labelled, and easy to interpret.
  • Avoid clutter and maintain a visually pleasing balance on the poster.

9. Text and Font:

  • Use a clear and legible font for all text elements.
  • Maintain consistency in font sizes throughout the poster.
  • Keep text concise, using bullet points or short paragraphs to convey information.

10. Colour and Design:

  • Choose a colour scheme that is visually appealing and appropriate for the content.
  • Use colours strategically to draw attention to key elements or highlight important information.
  • Ensure sufficient contrast between text and background for readability.

11. Captions and Citations:

  • Include captions for figures, tables, or images, providing a brief explanation of their content.
  • Cite any external sources or references used in the project, adhering to the appropriate citation format.

12. Proofreading and Editing:

  • Check the poster for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and typos.
  • Ensure that all content is accurate, consistent, and logically organised.
  • Seek feedback from mentors or teachers to improve the clarity and effectiveness of the poster.

13. Stand Layout

  • Below is the layout of your stand, the tabletop is curved with a maximum depth of 600mm.
  • All other display material should fit in this area.
  • No part of the display can be placed on the floor in front of your stand as this may cause health and safety problems.
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Preparing for the judges

Preparing for Judging

These are guidelines to help students prepare for interviews with expert judges during the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition:

1.Know Your Project:

  • Review your project thoroughly, ensuring you have a deep understanding of the research question, methodology, results, and conclusions.
  • Be prepared to explain your project in a concise and organised manner.

2. Anticipate Questions:

  • Consider potential questions that judges may ask based on your project’s topic and content.
  • Practice answering questions related to your research process, experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation of results.

3. Confidence and Professionalism:

  • Project confidence during the interview. Maintain good eye contact, speak clearly and audibly, and demonstrate enthusiasm for your work.
  • Dress appropriately and professionally to make a positive impression

4. Presentation Skills:

  • Practice delivering a clear and engaging presentation of your project. Be prepared to adapt your presentation based on the judge’s level of expertise or specific interests.
  • Use visual aids such as your poster or other materials to support your explanations.
  • Practice presenting in front of other classes and teachers

5. Be Open to Feedback:

  • Demonstrate a willingness to receive feedback and learn from the judges’ expertise.
  • Accept constructive criticism gracefully and consider it an opportunity for growth.

6. Scientific Terminology:

  • Use appropriate scientific terminology when discussing your project. Familiarise yourself with the key terms related to your research and be able to explain them clearly.

7. Project Significance:

  • Clearly articulate the significance and real-world implications of your project.
  • Explain how your project addresses a particular problem, fills a knowledge gap, or contributes to the field of study.

8. Research Process:

  • Describe your research process, including how you developed the research question, designed the experiment, collected and analysed data, and drew conclusions.
  • Highlight any challenges you encountered during the process and how you overcame them.

9. Demonstrate Critical Thinking:

  • Showcase your ability to think critically and analytically about your project.
  • Discuss any limitations or alternative explanations for your results and explain how you addressed them.

10. Practice and Mock Interviews:

  • Practice answering potential interview questions with a teacher, mentor, or peer.
  • Conduct mock interviews to simulate the experience and gain confidence in responding to various types of questions.

11. Time Management:

  • Be mindful of the time allocated for the interview. Practice delivering concise and focused responses to ensure you cover the essential aspects of your project within the given time frame.

12. Professional Etiquette:

  • Demonstrate professionalism and respect towards the judges. Listen carefully to their questions, maintain a positive attitude, and show appreciation for their time and feedback.

Remember, the interview is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge, passion, and ability to communicate effectively. By preparing well and being confident, you can make a strong impression on the judges and leave a lasting positive impact.

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FAQs for Qualified Projects 2025

Is there car parking available on site?

There is no carparking available on site.  There is very restricted car parking at the venue and priority is given to judges, BT staff and employees of exhibiting companies.  Carparking can be found in the vicinity, on street (24 hour day), at Aviva Stadium, in Merrion Cricket Club and in nearby hotels.

My group qualified with two students; can I add a third?

Students cannot be added to a group that has already qualified.

How large can the physical display be?

The display should fit in the overall stand area you have been allocated; it cannot be free standing on the floor in front of the stand.

I cannot attend all four days of the exhibition; can I send a replacement teacher?

If you are sending a replacement teacher to cover all or any of your days please email the teacher’s name and stand number they will be covering to BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com by 20 December,  if they are only covering one day they will be given a pass but not the teacher pack.

My student has an SNA; can the SNA attend with the student?

Please contact BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com by 20 December with the name of the SNA and stand number involved and a pass will be arranged for January.

What are the rules around the student entertainment?

There is supervised student entertainment each evening, this is held in the concert hall and starts at 8pm.  Admission is restricted to participating students and student badges are required. A teacher/guardian must collect their students when the entertainment finishes at 10:30pm

One student from my group cannot continue, what do I need to do?

When a student leaves a group, they must sign over the IP rights for the project to the remaining students.  If the student leaving the group means that only one student is left the permission is needed from the head judge to allow the project that qualified in group to move to individual. Please contact BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com for more information.

What times do students need to be onsite each day?

Students need to have their project set up by midday on Wednesday 10 January, and will be on site for the first round of judging until 6pm. For the remainder of the week the students should be at their stands from 9am until 6pm (Thursday), 5.30 pm (Friday due to awards ceremony) and 5pm on Saturday.  Please make sure that your students do not remove their projects before 5pm on Saturday.

Do my students need to wear their school uniform?

The majority of students do wear school uniform but this will depend on your schools’ guidelines as the students are representing your school

What refreshment facilities are on site?

There are a range of options available on site, ranging from the onsite coffee shop and bistro bar to the purpose built food court which has a wide selection of food vendors.

I have a number of projects qualified but I am the teacher for all of them, can I bring an additional teacher with me.

A request will need to be made to BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com and a decision will be made based on the overall number of teachers supporting projects at the exhibition.

Do I have to be near the students stands at all time?

You can be at or near your students stands at all times except during their judging interviews, no videoing or photography of these interviews are allowed.  There is a dedicated teacher space available on the upper balcony.

I need to withdraw a project, what do I have to do?

When a student confirms that they will exhibit a project, one of the available stand spaces will be allocated against that project. It is the teacher’s responsibility to check with students before the Christmas holidays to confirm that they are still planning to participate. If a project has to be withdrawn, please let us know immediately in writing to BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com before 6th December 2024. Call 1800 924 362 from the Republic of Ireland or 0800 917 1297 from Northern Ireland. Failure to do so may lead to the disqualification of participation of the project in future years.

My student’s project is on a reserve list what should we do?

Your student should continue to work on their project and will be contacted every two weeks to confirm that they are happy to remain on the reserve list or potentially offered a place.  If no space has become available by 20 December, we will release them from the list.  A number of projects are moved from the reserve list to the qualified list each year.

What are the key deadlines that need to be met?

8 November – Once the results of the screening process are released your successful students will be contacted to compete a confirmation cards (all students in a group must complete this).

13 December – Submission of the 3 minute video that will be used on the portal.

What happens with the judging on site?

Judging will commence on Wednesday 9 January 2024 from 3.00 pm and will continue all day Thursday. Final judging will be completed on Friday morning.  Please note that you should not be at the stand during the judging and videoing of judging is prohibited.

What prizes are available?

Everyone is aware of the top four awards but there are also category awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category / age group, that 90 awards. Did you know that there are around 40 special awards provided by our silver partners that are awarded for highlighting specific areas,  why not check out the criteria for the special awards at https://btyoungscientist.com/special-awards/ there might be one for your students to target with their project.

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