Homelessness, mental health issues and fake news are dominating the entries for this year's BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition.
Over 1,000 secondary school students have entered the competition.
Previous winners have gone on to become billionaires.
The stands are being set up at the RDS ahead of the exhibition which begins tomorrow.
1,200 secondary school students – 60% female and 40% male – have entered this year’s competition.
The competition is going from strength to strength reflecting the growth of science and technology in Ireland.
But the head of the Science Foundation of Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, says stereotypes still exist.
He said: " I think it is getting more mainstream but we struggle with historial preceptions.
"A lot of women would not automatically think of being an engineer because they often think of an engineer as somebody who carries a heavy steel beam and wearing wellington boots in a muddy field.
"They possibly don't think of an engineer as a really cool person who is writing code, for Facebook, Intel or LinkedIn."
The winner will be announced on Friday and will pocket €7,500.
Previous winners include Patrick Collison from Limerick who won in 2005 – he is now 29 and a billionaire.
- Digital Desk