Students from nine Donegal schools are have entered projects in tackling science, engineering and technology challenges for the upcoming BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) 2023.
The Donegal schools are: St. Eunan’s College, Abbey Vocational School, Coláiste Ailigh, St Columba’s Comprehensive School, Carndonagh Community School, Rosses Community School, Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Loreto Community School and Coláiste Cholmcille.
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.”
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.