Dublin, Thursday 4th March 2010: Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD today awarded third level summer placements to the winners of the BT Business of Science & Technology Programme 2010. The individual winner is Katie O’Neill from Dominican College, Wicklow, Hannah Hayes, Zubair Masod, Julianne O’Connell, Seán Ó’Rua, Andrej Pacher and Ben Rodgers of the DNA Tracer group won the overall group award. All participating students have received a certificate of achievement.
The third level summer placements are organised and funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and comprise of a one week placement divided between the National University of Ireland, Galway and the University of Limerick and a week long placement with University College Dublin. The placements are scheduled for June 2010.
The students will be accommodated on campus and given the opportunity to work with some of Ireland’s leading scientists and researchers. While the programmes will be tailored to meet their individual interests, they will also be exposed to all branches of science. In addition, the universities have extensive social programmes for the winners.
2010 was the inaugural year of this pioneering business mentoring programme by BT, which culminated in 53 students presenting real-world case studies to a panel of judges from organisations including BT, Microsoft, Enterprise Ireland and Engineers Ireland. Over the course of the programme the participating students have been trained by technology industry executive, Wendy Kennedy, and mentored by leading Irish business executives from organisations such as Bank of Ireland, Bombardier Aerospace, Bord Gáis Energy, IBM and Intel.
Chris Clark, CEO, BT Ireland, said “We are proud to have worked with such inspirational and progressive leaders in designing and executing the BT Business of Science & Technology programme. Through close collaboration with the mentors and our partners we have produced a programme which, I am confident, has ignited entrepreneurial thinking in our younger generation. ”
“I would like to thank all the mentors, judges, facilitators, BT volunteers and trainer for making the programme such a great success. I would also like to thank Minister Batt O’Keeffe and the HEA for providing these fantastic third level summer placements. I feel the students will benefit greatly from this experience and hopefully inspire their peers to take part in the 2011 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition,” he added.
The Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD, said: “The BT Business of Science & Technology programme will inspire students’ creativity in business and reinforce the link between education and entrepreneurship.
“The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition promotes scientific and technological endeavour among our young people. So it is fitting that, in an age of greater Government-backed collaboration between higher education institutions, BT, the Higher Education Authority and the universities provide experience and practical avenues for our young leaders in science and technology to develop their ideas.
“I am pleased this year to be in a position to provide placements in higher education institutions because enhanced interaction between business, higher education and second-level education is essential in meeting the ambitious economic and social development goals that we now set ourselves.”
Michael Kelly, Chairman, HEA, said “I would like to acknowledge the great contribution that BT has made to these students’ education. We feel our strategic objectives, in terms of the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in schools, are very much aligned with BT and we hope we can continue to work with BT to turn these objectives into reality. The third level summer placements have been designed to maximize the learning experience of these students and following this fantastic opportunity we feel that the winners will be well equipped to enter the business world.’
The BT Business of Science & Technology is an additional dimension to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. 53 students from 13 counties were invited to take part in the programme as they were the winners of the intermediate and senior categories, the overall top four performers and the winners of merit.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is open for entries from September 2010. For more information please visitwww.btyoungscientist.ie