BTYSTE sees record number of schools and girls applying for 2016

15 Oct 2015

Pictured l-r: Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, Hannah Ní Choistealbha and Karl O'Biathain, from Gaelcholaiste Reachran, Donaghmede and Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD. Image via Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Next year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) will be celebrating a record year for school entries, with more than half of all schools in the country entering.

Taking place from 6 to 9 January, the BTYSTE  has brought many of its winners to successful science and technology careers in the years afterwards, perhaps most noticeably with the 2013 winners Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, who went on to win at the Google Science Fair, among a myriad of other achievements.

And for next year, the organisers have confirmed that 2,048 entries have been received from 4,449 students.

This totals to 396 school entries, which is more than half the number of schools across the entire island of Ireland.

This is an increase of 28 schools or 8pc of schools since BTYSTE 2015, as it enters its 52nd year.

It is equally interesting to note that, once again, the majority of entries into the competition have come from girls, who make up 62pc of the entries, compared with 38pc of boys.

Meanwhile, the majority of entries have been organised in groups, accounting for 1,580 entries, compared with 468 individual entries.

The social and behavioural sciences dominate the majority of entries, with 857 projects to appear, followed by biological and ecological sciences (539); technology (338), and chemical, physical and mathematical sciences (314).

Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, said: “It is a testament to Ireland’s students and teachers that, in its 52nd year, the BTYSTE is growing in such strength and numbers… Students inspired by curiosity and problem solving will be essential to Ireland’s economic and social future and I commend each one of them and their schools who have taken the time and effort to submit projects and I wish all the entrants the best of luck.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic