3,843 students – mostly girls – vie for BT Young Scientist 2012

25 Oct 2011

Castleknock College's Alexander Amini, winner of this year's BT Young Scientist & Technology Award, went on to pick up the top accolate at the EU Contest for Young Scientists

More girls than boys are competing in the BT Young Scientist & Technology 2012 Exhibition, with 2,235 girls taking part compared with 1,608 boys, according to BT.

The number of entries for the 2012 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is up slightly from earlier this year, from 1,735 in 2011 to 1,743 projects so far taking part in January 2012.

However, the number of students taking part is down by 100. Some 3,843 students took part earlier this year while 3,743 are taking part in the 2012 event.

Some 1,354 entries are from groups and 389 entries are from individuals. In categories: Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences has received 326 entries; Biological & Ecological Sciences 509 entries; Social & Behavioural Sciences 618 entries and Technology 290 entries

For 2012’s event, BT has extended the space at the exhibition to allow more students to take part. There are now 550 places available, an increase of 30 on last year, allowing up to 90 additional students to take part in January.

“In its 48th year, it is great to see the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition continue to break new records for both the number of projects entered and schools competing,” said Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn.

“It is hugely uplifting to see 1,743 ideas generated in classrooms across Ireland, thought up by curious young minds who are eager to positively impact the world around them. Research and innovation are critically important to our economy, and I commend everyone involved in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for providing a platform to stimulate and showcase Ireland’s talent both nationally and internationally,” Quinn said.

The drive and talent our nation needs

BT Ireland’s CEO Colm O’Neill said there is a major challenge to create sustainable jobs in Ireland.

“The talent, drive and entrepreneurship are there, evident from the superior level of this year’s entries to the exhibition,” O’Neill said.

“We need to protect our industries and ensure growth for the future so these young talented people have career choices available to them. We are hugely encouraged that the numbers of exhibition entries has increased again this year. Forty-eight years and growing, this exhibition is a brilliant showcase of Ireland’s potential.”

The 2012 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 11-14 January. For more information, log onto the website, or follow the exhibition on Facebook or Twitter.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years