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What Impact did the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition have on me?

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Kate and Annie Madden pictured with Shay Walsh, managing director, BT Ireland.

When we are asked about what impact the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) made on us, it is hard to state it in only a few sentences. The BTYSTE has created many links and connections for us as well as helping us develop our personal skills. 2014 was the first year that I took part. From only the first year of the BTYSTE, I had learned valuable skills that some third-level students struggle to do, including presenting and writing up a report detailed enough to give full credit for the amount of work I had done.

2015 was the first year that both of us competed together, Annie had only begun first year of secondary school and I was preparing for the Junior Certificate. With the help of my parents, I persuaded Annie to get involved with the exhibition. This was the year that we were fortunate enough to win the second place award in the Intermediate Biological and Ecological category. From winning this award, we learned how to turn a simple scientific idea into a multi-award winning business. We co-founded a business called FenuHealth due to our BTYSTE experience and we now have nine people working on our team, exporting to fifteen countries worldwide.

Our business, FenuHealth, would not have started if we had not entered the BTYSTE. At the beginning, it was always our Dad encouraging us to take part as he saw and understood the opportunities which could arise from partaking in such an exhibition. And wasn’t he right! I am so happy that our Dad convinced us to enter a project because it is without a doubt one of the best exhibitions that we have ever taken part in. We encourage every young person to take part in it every year because the skills you develop, while preparing and presenting your project, benefit you for the rest of your life. The element of responsibility, to prepare your project and its display to the best of standards, is very important because you learn what the real meaning of responsibility is.

Last but not least, the special guests and VIP’s that attend the exhibition hall each year bring an exciting element to the exhibition. In 2014, on my first year of BTYSTE, I had a surprise visit of President Higgins to my stand. He asked questions on my project and congratulated me for all of the work I had put into it. Some of Ireland’s biggest celebrities visit the exhibition and wander around to different stands out of pure curiosity. Both national and international inspirational guests visit various stands to drive and motivate you on to success. The best part of the exhibition, in my opinion, is the life long friendships you make with the people in the stands next to you. Although you all may be competing for the same prize, you genuinely forget about the competitiveness during the exhibition because all the work is done!

But the most exciting thing about the BTYSTE is that you may be lucky enough to feature on the news or get your picture put on the front of nationals Newspapers! So if you have an idea and are wondering whether or not to get involved, definitely give it a go. You have nothing to lose!

Kate Madden, BTYSTE Alumni and Co-Founder of www.fenuhealth.com

To learn more about the BT Young Scientist and how to get involved before the closing date of 25th September 2018, visit www.btyoungscientist.com #BTYSTE #ItStartsHere

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