Students from all over Ireland will be descending upon the RDS, Dublin, today with innovative projects encompassing science, technology, engineering and maths for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2010.
Now in its tenth year, the Young Scientist exhibition received 1,588 projects from a record number of 329 schools with 520 of these to take part in this week’s competition.
Throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 80 judges with backgrounds in business and academia will be pouring over the student projects and conducting interviews until the winners are announced at the awards ceremony on Friday night, 15 January.
Open to public
Despite harsh winter weather over the past few weeks, the exhibition is set to go ahead as planned and is open to the public from Thursday, 14 January, until Saturday, 16 January.
Punters will get a chance to look at some of the next-generation of Irish innovators and entrepreneurs in the fields of science and technology.
Some of the technology highlights at the exhibition include PanSphere, a project that involves building a supercomputer to simulate pandemics including swine flu (H1N1) and other human viruses.
Students involved programmed and built the infrastructure for a virtual supercomputer that has the potential to simulate pandemics in order to generate accurate analysis patterns and track its movement globally.
Another notable project champions open source: the Ubuntu Linus operating system Zorin OS is being put to the test by a group of students interested in finding out if it can be a good, reliable, open-source and free alternative to Windows.
Global health is also a hot topic: in particular, one group is looking at designing and developing a biomass-fired cooking stove for developing countries that is clean and efficient and can be made from waste materials, such as tin cans.
Note: If schools have are concerned about travelling conditions to the exhibition, they are encouraged to contact the BT Young Scientist helpline on 1800 924 362 (ROI), 0800 917 1297 (NI).
By Marie Boran
Photo: Aidan Power of RTE’s The Café and The All-Ireland Talent Show will take to the stage alongside physicist, teacher and former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin as master of ceremonies for both the opening and award ceremonies of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2010