BT invites students to enter 56th Young Scientist & Tech Exhibition

  • Students across Ireland are today being invited to submit their entries to the 56th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) before the deadline date of 24th September 2019.

    The competition is open to second level students across the island of Ireland, who will be aged between 12 and 19 years on 31st October 2019.

    The Exhibition will be held in the RDS, Dublin from 8-11th January, 2020.

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    Over 200 prizes are to be won, including the coveted title of BT Young Scientist & Technologist (s) of the Year.

    Qualifying students will also be given a public spotlight on which to showcase their projects at the main Exhibition, a platform which has launched the careers of many of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs and academics. These include Stripe founders Patrick and John Collison, and Kate and Annie Madden of Fenu Health.

    What began in 1965 as a simple fair designed to inspire a love of science is today the country’s national celebration of science and technology at school level. It is also a critical component of the government’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills programme.

    The World Economic Forum stated that 65% of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that do not yet exist. Therefore in a rapidly changing world there is an increasing need to have the skills and knowledge needed to build, enhance and protect our future economy.

    Demand for STEM skills has increased significantly, and this year has even seen an increase in female participation in STEM subjects across the UK and Ireland. For many students, the BTYSTE is a first step towards an exciting career in science and technology.

    In 2018, BT Ireland commissioned a survey which showed that 77% of students who participated in BTYSTE went on to study science and/or technology at third level. 

    Simon Meehan, BTYSTE winner 2018

    The BTYSTE 2020 also marks BT Ireland’s 20th year as organiser of the Exhibition.

    Colette Carson is Head of School for the School of Applied Science, Sport and Access to Education at South East Regional College (SERC). The college scooped both the Best NI project and Best Overall NI School Award at last year’s Exhibition.

    Colette said: “The BTYSTE takes learning out of the classroom and gives students the autonomy to explore the art of problem-solving, which is the heartbeat of all science. SERC has been taking part in BTYSTE for seven years and each year it is a delight to see projects combine the robust methods of STEM in a novel or creative way to problems the students are clearly passionate about. SERC will be entering again this year and I would encourage other students and teachers to get their entry together to submit before the deadline of September 24th. It is an amazing experience that you will not soon forget."

    Mari Cahalane, Head of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition added: “We have an incredible alumni group, many of who are literally changing the world through their work, and we are excited to see what the class of 2020 is going to bring to the Exhibition in January. I wish all the students the very best of luck in the coming weeks as they finalise their project ideas.”

    Students have the option to enter as an individual or as a group into any of the four categories:

    -         Biological & Ecological Sciences

    -         Chemical, Physical & Mathematics Sciences

    -         Social & Behavioural Sciences

    -         Technology

    Once students have chosen their idea, carried out some research and defined their problem, they must then upload their one-page proposal to by midnight Tuesday, September 24th, 2019.

    The winner of the overall BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year will walk away with the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, a prize fund of €7,500 and will go on to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Salamanca, Spain in September 2020.

    For more information on the BTYSTE and for details on how to enter, log onto or follow @BTYSTE on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

    Photographs (c) BT

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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