Dublin, Thursday 16th July 2009: Jobs, the economy and climate change are some of the issues worrying 73 percent of Irish teenagers, according to a recent survey commissioned as part of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. While the survey results show the younger generation is concerned about some of society’s big problems; it’s not all doom and gloom, however, with both the silver and small screens influencing teenagers’ ambitions for the future. Popular television shows such as CSI clearly have an influence with 42 percent of students surveyed choosing forensics as their ideal scientific job.
Irish teenagers were asked about the importance of technology and science in everyday life, as well as the significance of continued technological innovation. A massive 73 percent agree that staying connected is vital, saying they can’t live without mobile phones, broadband and computers. One surprising, but some might say positive, finding was that only 2 percent of respondents chose computer games as a must-have technological invention.
Every year practical inventions emerge from the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition that have the potential to benefit society. These include a computer game that could help combat school bullies, which was highlighted by 21 percent as a product that should be made available to the public. On a lighter note, 45 percent of the sample would love to try out a Star Trek-style transporter to beam users to their target destination!
When asked why they would enter the exhibition, the majority of respondents said it would be for the honour of representing their school or community.
Chris Clark, CEO, BT commented on the findings: “The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is central to driving interest in science and technology. The exhibition attracts young people by making science fun, exciting and accessible. We undertook this research to better understand the issues facing teenagers and also to find out about their experiences of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The results demonstrate a real understanding of the difficulties facing our economy today.”
“Young people are our greatest resource and if we want to take advantage of the global upturn when it eventually comes we must nurture young minds as they are the future of our economy. A high-value, smart economy where the skills, innovation and creativity of our children will help Ireland become a leading location for business in the future.”
Organised entirely by BT, the exhibition is now entering its 46th year and recorded the greatest number of entries ever last year when 1,616 projects were submitted. BT hopes the record will be broken for the 2010 exhibition and continues to work on making the event better every year, for both visitors and students.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will be held in the RDS, Dublin from the 12th – 16th January 2010. For more information on the exhibition, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com or call 1800 924 362 or from Northern Ireland 0800 917 1297.
Key findings from the survey of 128 teenagers, average age 16:
• The biggest concerns for our respondents were “the economy” and “climate change”, making up almost two-thirds of all responses.
• Only 2 percent of respondents said they couldn’t live without their games consoles.
• However, a massive 73 percent said they couldn’t live without either their phone, computer or broadband.
• The “ergonomic schoolbag – a bag that can improve your posture” was the project that most respondents thought should be made into a commercially available product.
• When it comes to future inventions, a staggering 45 percent would like to see the invention of a transporter which ‘beams’ a person to a target destination in seconds.
• Working in forensic science (as in CSI) was the most popular career choice in science/ technology.
• Albert Einstein is considered inspiring and innovative by 26 percent of respondents, followed closely by Bill Gates at 24 percent
• 84 percent of respondents are using at least one of the following social networking sites – Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, with some using all three!. Bebo is the most popular.
• The funkiest sites on the web are 1. www.youtube.com 2. www.bebo.com 3. www.btyoungscientist.com
• 61 percent of respondents keep in touch with the people they met at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition
• The “opportunity to represent your school or community” is the most popular reason to get involved in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2010
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In the year ended 31 March 2008, BT Group’s revenue was £20,704 million with profit before taxation and specific items of £2,506 million.
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