Climate change, farm safety and gender diversity taking centre stage at this year's BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Climate change, farm safety and gender diversity taking centre stage at this year's BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Young people's efforts to tackle contemporary issues as diverse as climate change, farm safety and gender diversity will be showcased to the public over the next three days in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

Sophie Kelly, Rachelle Biayi, and Karl Fitzpatrick, fouth year TY students from Pobail Scoil Neasain, Baldoyle, who were on hand to launch the 55th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition which kicks off tomorrow. Photo Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography.
Sophie Kelly, Rachelle Biayi, and Karl Fitzpatrick, fouth year TY students from Pobail Scoil Neasain, Baldoyle, who were on hand to launch the 55th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition which kicks off tomorrow. Photo Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography.

Ahead of opening its doors at the RDS in Dublin tomorrow morning, President Michael D Higgins will officially open the 55th version of the popular schools' event this afternoon.

He and the 50,000-plus visitors expected to view the exhibition up to Saturday evening can look forward to getting a strong flavour of the hard work that has been undertaken over several months by students whose 550 projects have been selected from those submitted last year.

As well as enjoying the social and educational aspects of participating, students will be hoping to take home one of dozens of prizes across the different categories, or one of the special awards offered by different sponsors.

At Friday evening's awards ceremony, the overall BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2019 winner or winners will also be announced. The top prize will earn the winner €7,500, the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, and the honour of representing Ireland next September at the 31st EU Contest for Young Scientists in Bulgaria.

He, she, or they (depending on whether the overall winning project is an individual or group entry) will have the chance to follow in the footsteps of many past winners who have gone on to achieve greatness in their respective fields of endeavour.

A festival of science and innovation taking place at the RDS as part of this year's exhibition will feature guest appearances from top names in the tech entrepreneurial world.

Karl Fitzpatrick, 15, Sophie Kelly,16, and Rachelle biayi,16, from Pobalscoil Neasain in Baldoyle watch Sue McGrath AKA Scientific Sue demonstrate how dragons work at the launch of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2019. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Karl Fitzpatrick, 15, Sophie Kelly,16, and Rachelle biayi,16, from Pobalscoil Neasain in Baldoyle watch Sue McGrath AKA Scientific Sue demonstrate how dragons work at the launch of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2019. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

They include renowned developer Steve Collins, a co-founder of Irish firm Havok which supplies the software behind the graphics of some of the world's leading video games. Tech influencer and artificial intelligence commentator Azeem Azhar is also booked to speak at the festival.

"Over the next few days, the students will have the experience of a lifetime, presenting their projects to some of the most renowned scientists and technologists in Ireland as well as the public, not to mention all the fun they will have making new friends and learning from their peers," said Shay Walsh, managing director of sponsors and organisers BT Ireland.

Anyone planning to attend the event - open from 9.30am tomorrow, Friday and Saturday - can download a free BTYSTE app to their Android or Apple devices to get an exhibition map, events schedule, and search tool for projects and exhibitors.

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