Young Scientist Exhibition goes international with Abu Dhabi launch

27 Nov 2015

Inspired by the accomplishments of Ireland’s youth in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BYTSTE), the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is to host its own Young Scientist Exhibition.

To be held early next year, the Young Scientist Exhibition will be largely based on the Irish event, which has run for the last 52 years and received international recognition for its winners, who in many cases have gone on to do great things with their research proposals and inventions, according to the Emirati newspaper, The National.

Much like the Irish event, the Young Scientist Exhibition will be open to young students from grades three to 12 and will be split into a non-competitive science fair for pupils in grades three to five (eight-10-year-olds), with the big competition taking place for grades six to 12 (11-18-year-olds) and a technology showcase from science and technology companies.

To be organised by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), the event will be officially partnered with the BTYTSE.

There’s a total prize of 1m Emirati dirham (€256,000) at stake for the entrants, with the top prize to net the winner 100,000 Emirati dirham (€25,600) while the best individual or group entry will win 70,000 Emirati dirham (€18,000).

Two awards valued at 55,000 Emirati dirham (€14,000) each will be given to two runners-up.

Judging the awards will be a selection of Emirati university professors, with applicants in the country asked to apply by 28 January to get a chance to compete.

One of the guests of honour at the official announcement in Abu Dhabi was none other than Dr Tony Scott, co-founder of the Irish exhibition, who was joined by Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, acting director general at the Adec and chairman of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi.

“We hope this exciting and new initiative will encourage students, parents and the public to think and learn more about science, while [also] motivating students to follow career paths in science and technology,” said Dr Al Khaili.

Abu Dhabi skyline image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic