Lights, sound and liquid nitrogen at BT Young Scientist launch

President Higgins praises students as he officially opens 2017 exhibition at Dublin’s RDS

Almost 1,150 student exhibitors are displaying 550 projects at the RDS in Dublin this week for the 2017 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.


What better way to start the year than with the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, President Michael D Higgins said as he declared the official opening of the 2017 event.

“It is a wonderful experience to be here,” he told the almost 1,150 student exhibitors assembled in the BT Arena at the RDS on Wednesday to listen to the President.

They were also there to enjoy an Irish band, watch a stunning laser show and see what you can do with a bucket of freezing cold liquid nitrogen.

President Higgins in his address continually broke down the walls between the arts and science, saying that creativity was at the centre of both pursuits.

He also praised the willingness of the students to share their research with the world. The students want their science used in an ethical way to solve the major challenges facing people around the world.

‘Hard work’

He praised the students, their teachers and parents and also the event’s main sponsor BT for being involved in the exhibition.

Judging got under way on Wednesday afternoon, with each of the 550 student projects set to receive at least three judging visits over the coming days. The top four winning projects will be announced on Friday evening.

Students were encouraged to forget their nerves, relax and enjoy the three-day event by BT managing director Shay Walsh. It is an experience they would remember for the rest of their lives, he said.

He announced that the company would continue to support and organise the Young Scientist event at least until 2020. He also said that, depending on the weather, this year’s event could see as many as 60,000 visitors.

Exploded balloon

President Higgins also took the time to visit a number of exhibits, chatting with the students and praising their work.

The RDS Primary Science Fair opens on Thursday morning with pupils from fourth to sixth class exhibiting their projects.

The exhibition opens to the public at 9.30am on Thursday and remains open until Saturday afternoon. Tickets can be booked online or at the door, €6 for students, €12 for adults and €25 for a family pass.

Full details of the event and apps to help tour the exhibition are available at