Each year, the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition never fails to impress with spectacular secondary-school science projects from all age groups.

Competing at a senior level this year was John Ryan from St Joseph’s College in Tipperary. As well as coming joint first in his category, Ryan took home the special award from Science Foundation Ireland.

His project used deep neural networks to find offensive text from an expansive data set, with the ultimate goal of becoming a tool to combat online harassment.

At the other end of the scale were first-time entrants Daire Ó Gallchóir and Jack Mac Giolla Bhride from Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair. Showing that science knows no age limits, these first-year mathematicians showed us how their project used Lego to investigate Pick’s Theorem.

Words by Elaine Burke