University scholarships on offer for winners of BT Young Scientist 2015

15 Dec 2014

Pictured: Saoirse Lambkin Ní Chátháin and Niamh Nic Giolla Phádraig, transition year students from Coláiste Íosagáin who will compete in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition with DCU president Brian MacCraith and Colm O'Neill, CEO BT Ireland

Ireland’s universities have agreed to collaborate on providing university entrance scholarships to winners at the upcoming BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

For the first time, scholarships of €1,000 will be awarded to every fifth and sixth year student that wins first place in either the individual or group categories at the exhibition, whilst a €2,000 scholarship will be awarded to any fifth and sixth year student that wins the overall 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year award.

Fifth year students who receive the entrance scholarship prize will be able to ‘bank’ their award until sixth year, when they make their university applications. The scholarships will be awarded to both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland students who are eligible for the prize.

“On behalf of the universities involved in this scholarship funding, we are delighted to partner with BT in our common goal to encourage and harness STEM learning across the island of Ireland,” DCU President and Chair of the National STEM Education Review Group, Prof. Brian MacCraith, explained.

“The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is a premier platform for second level STEM engagement and we want to recognise the efforts and enhanced learning experience of those students that participate in the exhibition, as they approach their third level education.”

Taking it to the next level

The exhibition will take place in the RDS in Dublin from 7– 10 January and is open to visitors from Thursday, 8 January 2015.

This year applications to enter the event have been submitted by 4,616 students from across Ireland who are working on 2,077 projects – a new record. In terms of diversity 54pc of entries are from girls while 46pc are from boys.

“Year after year, the exhibition continues to grow and more organisations are coming on board to help with the shared objective to drive science and technology engagement in schools,” said BT Ireland chief executive Colm O’Neill.

“We hope that this scholarship scheme will not only offer a greater incentive to students to participate in the exhibition but will also provide that crucial link between second level learning and a potential career in STEM through third level education.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years