Young scientist exhibition one of the largest events of its kind in Europe

Exhibition open to public from Thursday to Saturday when over 50,000 visitors expected

2,500 students from 383 schools are attending the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition which has kicked off at the RDS in Dublin. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

The critical role the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition plays in helping to generate Irish talent in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) was highlighted at its 2018 launch in Dublin’s RDS on Tuesday.

“The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is an excellent platform to discover future Stem leaders and help sustain a culture of Stem teaching and learning within our society,” said Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland.

“Over the course of the week, visitors will see how all the projects vary in a range of complexity. Students have developed skills along this process that will benefit them throughout their entire careers.”

This is the 54th staging of the contest and BT’s “18th year to organise this prestigious event and to be a driving force in fostering and recognising Stem talent in Ireland”, Mr Walsh said.

He was speaking as hundreds of students gathered to unveil their projects. Some of Ireland’s brightest young scientific minds are competing to take home the BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2018 titles, which will be announced on Friday evening.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins will mark its opening at a ceremony on Wednesday attended by students, teachers, exhibition partners and stakeholders. Presented by broadcasters Aidan Power and Róisín Ní Thomáin, it will be streamed live on Facebook from 2pm.

Bletchley Park

The communications and IT services company BT has announced an increase in prize money for the overall winner, or winners, and an additional prize of a trip to “the home of codebreaking” during the second World War: Bletchley Park in England.

This year winner or winners will be presented with a cheque for €7,500, up from €5,000. The overall winner or winners will also represent Ireland at the 30th EU Contest for Young Scientists in September, which this year will be staged in Dublin.

There are 550 projects on show – the work of more than 1,100 students – across four categories: technology; biological and ecological sciences; social and behavioural sciences; and chemical, physical and mathematical sciences.

Judging begins on Wednesday afternoon, and the exhibition opens to the public from Thursday to Saturday. More than 50,000 visitors are expected. More details are available at btyoungscientist.com

The RDS Primary Science Fair, which takes place in tandem with the main exhibition, is a non-competitive event that aims to promote science, technology, engineering and maths projects undertaken by primary school pupils.

Guest appearances

The exhibition, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, will also play host to a festival of science and innovation with guest appearances from Irish astronaut in training Dr Norah Patten, world famous computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, who educates young people on cybersecurity threats, and Channel 4 broadcaster Jon Snow.

More than 20 free shows a day will be available for students and visitors to see including one of the world’s most popular science theatre acts, Ministry of Science UK.

Visitors can plan their visit to the RDS in advance by downloading a free BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition app, available on Android and Apple devices. It includes an exhibition map, a search tool for student projects and exhibitors, and a schedule of events, as well as links to the BTYSTE social networks for live updates throughout the event.