Second-level students have demonstrated their amazing ingenuity in tackling science, engineering and technology challenges as over 1,700 projects were entered for the upcoming BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) 2023. Health, new technologies, agriculture, sport science, and environment are among the key trends which have emerged from the entries. After closing for entries earlier this month, the BTYSTE judges selected the 550 projects which will be showcased at the exhibition taking place from January 11th -14th 2023.
Health has come out as a top issue for students this year as 24% of projects delve into this area. Projects ranged from cancer research, allergy remedies, diet and nutrition, to ways to improve our sleep and cardiovascular health. The students also looked at new applications and technology-based solutions to improve everyday life for those living with a variety of illnesses and conditions.
The environment remains a key focus for young people taking part in the exhibition. This year 20% of the projects entered tackled environmental issues across all STEM categories. For some students, finding solutions to coastal erosion and improving recycling methods are the main objectives, while others focus on exploring new ways to reduce carbon emissions. Students didn’t only turn their enquiring minds to the earth’s environment, but went beyond into space, with projects looking at how meteorites, the atmosphere and space travel impact our world.
Over 10% of projects featured new technologies, applications or devices with students exploring topical areas such as road and water safety, sustainable energy usage, along with a variety of other novel ways that technology can assist and improve our daily lives. Meanwhile, sport-based projects examining the science behind physical activity, tactics, nutrition and results feature in over 10% of projects. A further 10% of projects look at how we learn, and new ways to improve cognitive processing of information.
Minister for Education, Norma Foley commented, “Every year, students across the country showcase their ingenuity and creativity by entering the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition – it’s encouraging to see so many of our young people finding new ways to solve issues in areas of importance. “STEM education holds endless opportunities for our young people and that’s why the Department is proud to support the exhibition. I look forward to learning more about the student’s projects at the exhibition in January.”
Speaking of the trends on show this year in the BTYSTE entries, Co-founder and Judge Tony Scott said, “I am so impressed by how young minds are engaged with such a staggering array of STEM topics and seeking to find ways to improve the way we live. It’s encouraging to see such a focus on the issues affecting our daily life in preparing their projects for the BTYSTE 2023. We’re seeing trends that show these students are engaged, thinking critically, and getting excited by the endless opportunities that STEM presents in our world. “It’s fantastic to have the BTYSTE returning in person in January, where we can meet the young people when they exhibit and learn more about their creative projects!”
Mari Cahalane, Head of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition said, “We are so excited to welcome back students, teachers and schools as well as the general public to our festival of science and curiosity the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The large volume of entries showcases the ambition, creativity and dedication of students across Ireland. “The BTYSTE is an inspiring way to start the year, and we can’t wait to meet all the students, teachers, and visitors, at the exhibition and enjoy the amazing projects and exciting programme of activities taking place.”
After two years as a virtual exhibition, the BTYSTE is back with a bang for the 59th annual event, which will be held in-person this January 11th – 14th 2023. Thousands of visitors are set to walk through the doors of the RDS where the brightest minds from across the island of Ireland will be showcasing their brilliant projects in a celebration of science and technology. Spectacular acts will also provide entertainment and interactive installations will allow you to immerse yourself in the world of STEM. The student finalists will be interviewed by an eminent panel of over 80 judges.
For participants and teachers, the Exhibition offers a chance to win one of over 200 prizes with a prize fund of over €35,000. The overall winner(s) will take home the top prize of €7,500 and go on to represent Ireland at the prestigious European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Brussels, where Ireland has a strong history of taking home the prize for first place, with 17 wins over the past 33 years.