BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition celebrates big 5-0

2 May 2013

Loreto College Balbriggan students Eibhlin McCarthy (left), and Katie Phelan, both aged 13, join Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Dublin to launch the 50th year of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, is the first person to wish the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition a happy 50th birthday today, at the launch in Dublin of a milestone year for the exhibition.

Colm O’Neill, CEO of BT Ireland, Dr Tony Scott, co-founder of the exhibition, and budding student scientists, joined Kenny at the launch.

To celebrate the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition’s 50th anniversary, BT is calling on all past entrants, visitors, teachers, judges, partners and supporters to connect with the exhibition again and send their birthday messages and memories of the exhibition via a virtual birthday card, or on Facebook or Twitter.

A selection of birthday wishes will be projected onto the RDS, Dublin, in January 2014.

BT has created a new digital archive to accompany the birthday card. The archive displays material and iconic moments of the last 49 years of the exhibition.

In addition to photographs from throughout the decades, the archive also includes indexed exhibition guides, forming a searchable database of students that competed in the programme.

As part of the launch of the 50th year of the exhibition, BT Ireland also announced that it will extend its commitment to organising and sponsoring the competition beyond 2014 and until 2016.

Kenny congratulated everyone involved in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

“The whole country has been impressed by the hard work and ingenuity of all of those who have taken part since the first competition was held in 1965. I always enjoy visiting the exhibition and seeing at first-hand the energy, passion, creativity and fun among the participants,” he said.

“All of this would not be possible without the continued commitment of BT and the great work of their staff, the students, teachers and parents, who each year demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ireland’s bright future in scientific research and technological innovation is secure.”

O’Neill said that this year is about celebrating past achievements, as well as looking ahead to what BT would like the future to look like.

“We believe that this exhibition is one of the best forums for engaging schools and the wider public in the critical skills of science, technology, engineering and maths, and are delighted to be a driving force behind it until at least 2016,” he said.

The next BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 8-11 January 2014. The closing date for entries is 2 October 2013.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic