By Cate McCurry, PA
More than 1,100 school students will travel to Dublin’s RDS on Wednesday for the 59th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE).
The event, which showcases research and innovation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), will be in person this year for the first time since the pandemic, following two virtual exhibitions.
President Michael D Higgins will officially open the 2023 exhibition at a ceremony for the students, teachers and exhibition partners.
The ceremony will also be streamed live on the BTYSTE website and on Facebook Live from 2pm.
Speaking ahead of the exhibition, President Higgins said: “May I offer my best wishes and good luck to all of the students participating in this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, and may I pay a special tribute to all those teachers and parents who have been such an essential source of encouragement as well as all those who have played a role in organising this year’s event.
“What a great time it is to be a young scientist – challenging, yes, but so potentially fulfilling to know that the choices you make will have effects that are important, not just for your own time but for the very possibility of life in its diverse forms, on our vulnerable planet.
“May I suggest to all of you that as a young scientist, you will be at your best, achieve the greatest fulfilment for yourself and others, when you locate your contribution within a commitment to be concerned and contributing global citizens.”
Organised by BT Ireland, the exhibition has become one of the leading school STEM exhibitions in Europe, attracting over 100,000 student participants since the first event in 1965.
Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland said: “BT Ireland is delighted to provide this platform for school students to share their extraordinary ideas.
“During our 23 years as custodian, I am always amazed by the high calibre of the projects on show, addressing some of the major challenges our world is currently facing.
“I wish the students the best of luck this week, and hope they take brilliant memories from this unique exhibition.
“For anyone looking for inspiration and a tonic in January, I’d encourage them to visit and be uplifted by these young people and their talent.”
At the heart of the exhibition are the 550 projects from 212 schools which span the categories of technology, biological and ecological sciences, social and behavioural sciences, and chemical, physical and mathematical sciences.
Following judging by the 80-plus judging panel, the BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2023 will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, January 13th at 5.30pm.
The overall prize winner or winners will receive the BTYSTE perpetual trophy and be presented with a cheque for €7,500.
The winner will go forward to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Brussels in September.