- Past winners and teachers outline the many benefits to getting involved
- Research shows 82% people working in STEM find their work fulfilling and inspiring
- Over 140 student and teacher awards to be won
Tuesday 28th August: With only one month to go before the closing date for entries to the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), students across Ireland are being encouraged to get their thinking caps on and get involved in the 2019 exhibition.
Eighteen-year-old Shane Curran was named BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year in 2017 for his project qCrypt, a quantum secure data storage solution. Since winning the competition, Shane has turned his BTYSTE project idea into a successful data privacy start-up, and is currently in the process of recruiting up to 20 people in Dublin. He also just received his Leaving Certificate results and plans to study Business & Law at UCD.
Shane says, “I can’t encourage students enough to submit their applications for the BTYSTE. Entering, and being lucky enough to win the BTYSTE, has opened so many doors for me. Participating in the competition gave me the skills, confidence and connections to develop the ideas from my project into a viable business which is expanding rapidly with plans to hire a large team in Dublin. It all started at the BTYSTE.”
“My top tip for students considering entering the Exhibition is to base your project submission on something you have a natural interest in, such as a hobby or past time. Think about what improvements can be made in this area and start building your submission from there”.
“Entering and participating at the BTYSTE was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life and I really recommend all students to submit an entry – it could be you next year.”
Teacher Larissa Kelly, from Schull Community College, Cork, explains why teachers should encourage and support students to come up with ideas and enter. She says, “The BTYSTE is an exciting experience for both students and teachers. I am extremely proud to have been awarded the BT Educator of Excellence in 2018. The innovation, hard work and commitment of my students year after year is the inspiration for my involvement”.
“The start of the new school year is a critical time for students and teachers considering putting forward submissions as the end of September deadline approaches. My advice to teachers is to help your students develop their interest, in any branch of the sciences. There is something for everyone. Once students are engaged in the project the whole process becomes so enjoyable for all involved and it really brings a school together.”
The call for students to enter the BTYSTE and pursue STEM is heightened by BT Ireland’s research into student interests and employees working in STEM. In fact, the survey carried out in 2017 highlighted strong links (77%) between students who participated in the BTYSTE and those who went onto to study STEM at third level. STEM received a further endorsement this year as the 2018 survey of STEM employees showed that 82% believe their work is inspiring and makes a positive contribution to society: a message which organisers of the Exhibition believe will help inspire students to consider taking part in events such as the BTYSTE.
Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland, who will mark its 19th year as organiser and sponsor of the BTYSTE this January added, “Every year, we watch our fantastic BTYSTE alumni go on to great success and we feel so much pride when they say it all started with the BTYSTE. That’s what I would say to anyone considering entering this year’s exhibition. Just give it a go and who knows where the journey will take you. I wish the very best of luck to all of you over the coming weeks as you finalise your entries.”
The application process is straightforward: students can enter individual or group projects into one of four categories; technology, social and behavioural science, biological and ecological science, or chemical, physical and mathematical. Submissions take the form of a one-page proposal outlining the project idea which is then submitted online. Students have until midnight on Tuesday 25th September 2018 submit their entries at www.btyoungscientist.com.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place from the 9th- 12th January, 2019 at the RDS in Dublin. The exhibition offers one of the most coveted awards for participants, with a substantial prize fund and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, as well as over 140 prizes for individuals, groups, and teachers.
The overall winner is then invited to represent Ireland at the EU Contest for Young Scientists. Ireland has enjoyed great success at the event in recent years, winning first prize at the contest a total of 14 times, second only to Germany. Ireland will be represented by current BT Young Scientist winner Simon Meehan, when the contest takes place (14th-19th September 2018) in Dublin’s RDS. Tickets can be downloaded for free at www.eucys2018.com/tickets.