A record number of projects from 329 schools across the 32 counties have been submitted for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition taking place in January 2010.
According to BT some 1,588 projects have been submitted for the upcoming exhibition, proving that interest in science, technology, mathematics and engineering continues to grow throughout the country.
Some 520 projects will take part in the final, an increase of 20 places on last year. Projects entered in all four categories include: Technology, 198 entries; Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, 303 entries; Biological & Ecological Sciences, 534 entries; and Social & Behavioural Sciences, 553 entries.
According to the organisers, 57pc of entrants are female and 43pc are male. Some 80pc of entries are group entries and 20pc are individual entries.
“Our focus is on continually evolving this fantastic exhibition, and we’re delighted that more schools than ever have responded positively and entered for 2010,” said Chris Clark, the CEO of BT.
“This showcase of young talent is surpassed by none and the commercial successes of some of our past winners prove it is a real stepping stone for Ireland’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Now we’re now looking forward to seeing the big ideas and inventions that will be on show at the RDS in January.”
BT also recently launched the Business of Science & Technology, a new programme that will give students the business knowledge they need to turn their innovative ideas into commercial opportunities.
The 40 students will be selected at the exhibition and mentored by leading executives from BT, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Bombardier, Bord Gais Eireann, IP Innovations, UCD, TCD, Engineers Ireland and Bank of Ireland on subjects such as protecting intellectual capital, global marketing and international business.
The programme is designed to bridge the gap between education and business, and to support Ireland’s ambition to be a Smart Economy.
“The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, which my department continues to support, is a unique platform for secondary-school students to showcase their talents and imaginations,” said the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD.
“As minister, I want to promote science, technology, engineering and maths at all levels of our education system as part of the Government’s efforts to build the ‘smart’ innovation-based society in our economic recovery project.
“I’m also delighted this year to be in a position to provide placements in higher education institutions for the new Business of Science and Technology programme which will inspire students’ entrepreneurship and creativity,” O’Keefe said.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2010 will take place in the Main Hall, RDS, Dublin 4 from 12-16 January, 2010. Doors will be open to the public from Thursday, 14 January, to Saturday, 16 January.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Hannah Moyne(15), Amy Russell (15) and Hannah Craddock (16) from Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf are pictured with Chris Clark, CEO of BT (left), and Minister of Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe.