Judging of Young Scientist begins


Judging gets under way this afternoon in the 2002 Esat Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS in Dublin. The President, Mrs McAleese, officially opens the event this evening.

The 148 Dublin schools involved in this year's event registered yesterday and set up their research exhibits. Almost 200 more projects will be put together this morning when the remainder of the students arrive to get the show underway.

Formal judging begins this afternoon in all three project categories: biological and ecological sciences; chemical, physical and mathematical sciences; and social and behavioural sciences. Students may also elect to be judged for one of 21 technology awards.

This year's involvement by 2,270 students is the largest yet in the 38-year history of the exhibition. It started under the sponsorship of Aer Lingus, and five years ago Esat stepped in as the major sponsor and organiser.

The President opens the event this evening in the company of a rope-climbing robot. It is one of a number of working robots in a variety of displays at the RDS.

Judging will be completed by Friday evening, and the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, will then announce the winning projects.

The exhibition has had a major refit, giving it a new look for 2002. There are also plenty of company-sponsored displays and exhibits that will be of interest to student participants and visitors.

A key feature this year is the World of Science and Technology display provided by BTexact Technologies. Part of this display was on show at the Dome in London and was transported here for the Young Scientist exhibition.

Intel has also provided a major exhibit with many interactive displays that demonstrate the power of the microchip. Other features at the RDS include an Internet café and a mobile 100-seater cinema.

The exhibition does not open to the public until tomorrow. It is open from 10 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and tickets are available at the door. Family tickets cost €12 and will admit two adults and two children. Individual adult tickets cost €6, students and concessions are €3 and primary school student tickets cost €2.50.

Secondary-school tours are welcome at the student rate, according to the organisers. Groups over 30 are entitled to a 20 per cent discount, and in this case the teacher enters free of charge.

Further details are available at www.esatyoungscientist.com