Students prepare to showcase their STEM skills at the first ever virtual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Jan 05, 2021

  • Exhibition will be held online from Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th January 2021.
  • President Michael D. Higgins to officially open the exhibition on Wednesday.
  • Taoiseach Micheál Martin delivers a virtual good luck message to all participants.

Dublin, Tuesday 5th January 2021: Over 1,000 students from across the island of Ireland will take part in the first ever virtual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) as it launches online tomorrow at 8am. It is the 57th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and the first to ever take place virtually. The exhibition will bring together some of the country’s brightest young STEM minds as they compete to take home the coveted title of the BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year 2021. Free registration is open now at https://portal.btyoungscientist.com/

President Michael D. Higgins will officially open the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at a special online ceremony tomorrow, Wednesday 6th January.  President Higgins is a great supporter of the exhibition, praising it for its ability to provide a platform for young people to showcase their talents, and saying it is “at the pinnacle of scientific achievement and discovery amongst young people worldwide.”

The opening ceremony will be available to view from 1pm on Wednesday on the BTYSTE portal and Facebook and will be recorded and streamed from the Mansion House in Dublin, the location of the first ever BTYSTE in 1965.

At the heart of the exhibition are over 1,000 students representing over 200 schools from across the island of Ireland.  This year’s projects cover a wide variety of topics, from COVID-19, the prevalence of social media and technology in our daily lives, ethnicity, gender studies, sports science, climate change, agricultural science, nutrition, solar power and biological diversity. Judging begins tomorrow morning and each project will be judged a minimum of three times, with over 80 judges volunteering their time to take part.

This year’s winner(s) of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, will be announced online at 1pm Friday 8th January, and will be presented with a cheque for €7,500 and the newly designed BTYSTE perpetual trophy. In all, there are over 200 prizes for individuals, groups, and teachers.

During the three-day exhibition, the public can enjoy some very special interviews, discussions and shows including: Professor Luke O’Neill on making vaccines in a global pandemic; The Climate Emergency; How to Become an Astronaut; and 'Our Amazing Universe: A journey of discovery'.  In addition, teachers will have access to a myriad of workshops at a new dedicated Teachers’ Area.  

Delivering a good luck message to everyone taking part in this year’s virtual exhibition Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “I’m delighted the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is going ahead this year, and I want to congratulate BT and the Young Scientist Board who’ve pulled it together despite all of the obstacles. 

Over the past year, we’ve seen how important science and technology are to solving our global problems, enhancing our living conditions, and helping us to adapt more rapidly to crises. The strength of our scientific community has developed new vaccines and given us new treatments for Covid-19.  It is through technology we have been able to bridge the social distance we’ve been faced with.

While the exhibition will be different this year, the platform it provides to students to showcase their ideas continues to be of great importance.  The diversity of the entries shows that our vision for STEM education is being realised in schools across the country, hugely helped by events such as this. It fills me with immense pride and hope to see the ideas of bright, innovative and creative minds, and I wish all participants, and those supporting them on their journey, every success in the future.”

Leading communications and IT services company, BT, in their 212t year as organiser of the exhibition, is set to deliver another brilliant event for competitors and the visiting public.

Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland said: “I am excited to welcome the next wave of future scientists and entrepreneurs to the virtual 57th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Over the next few days, we’ll be speaking to all our participants in a virtual setting and providing them with a great line-up of educational events and entertainment. They will get the chance to showcase their projects to some of Ireland’s most accomplished scientists and technologists, who are part of our judging panel.

“Since its inception in 1965, we estimate over three quarters of a million people have visited the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. This figure highlights just how fascinated people are with the endless possibilities of science and technology. Moving the event to an online setting this year allows us to open our doors to both national and international audiences, free of charge.  BT Ireland is very proud to organise the exhibition for the past 21 years – providing so many bright students with a platform to pursue their interests in science and technology. We wish all participating students the best of luck this week.”

BT will host a number of fringe events in 2021 including the Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) TechStarter event where attendees can hear from a panel of change makers in the field of innovation and technology. BT Nextipedia, the business innovation symposium, will feature Aron Ralston, whose harrowing experience trapped in a southeast Utah canyon was made into the 2010 movie ‘127 Hours’, a true-life story of innovating during a crisis.

For more information on this fantastic family event, visit www.btyoungscientist.com, or follow @BTYSTE on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Snapchat (username: BTYSTE).

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