Students will take on Covid-19 at first-ever virtual BT Young Scientist exhibition

The majority of projects this year come from schools in Cork with the Rebel County accounting for 120 of the finalists.
Students will take on Covid-19 at first-ever virtual BT Young Scientist exhibition

The annual exhibition, will be held from January 6-8, received 1,300 entries this year with a huge number of projects focusing on health and the impact of Covid-19.

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) will go virtual for the first time next year when 550 finalists from 29 counties will showcase their projects.

The annual exhibition, which will be held from January 6-8, received 1,300 entries this year with a huge number of projects focusing on health and the impact of Covid-19.

The finalists, representing 213 schools, vary from topics that explore the effects lockdown may have had on different socio-economic groups, to investigations into the effectiveness of different types of facemasks and the impact of hand sanitizer on our skin.

Other topics being examined by students include direct provision, gender studies, race, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and socioeconomic challenges.

Social media and technology feature heavily as young people look into its impact on our own personal safety and the safety of others.

Makua Ifediora from Franciscan College Meath with her project 'Relating personality factors like school subject preferences to fingerprint patterns' at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020 in the RDS Dublin. Picture: Iain White - Fennell Photography

Makua Ifediora from Franciscan College Meath with her project 'Relating personality factors like school subject preferences to fingerprint patterns' at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020 in the RDS Dublin. Picture: Iain White - Fennell Photography

The majority of projects this year come from schools in Cork with the Rebel County accounting for 120 of the finalists.

Dublin follows with 92 finalists while Limerick and Tipperary each have 36 projects in the final.

Students have been commended for the quality of their entries during what has been a very difficult year for them.

"To see the ways in which students, with the help of their teachers and parents, have interrogated the pandemic through their projects is incredible," said Shay Walsh, Managing Director at BT Ireland.

"It is encouraging to see that students are continuing to push beyond limits and produce innovative solutions and ideas to everyday problems they encounter.

"Congratulations to all the students, teachers and parents who have put so much time, effort and resources into the projects.

Pictured at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2020 is Leah Shaw, 6th year Our Lady's Bower, Westmeath. Leah's project is titled Citrus Peels - The Answer to Global Drought. Picture: Iain White - Fennell Photography.

Pictured at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2020 is Leah Shaw, 6th year Our Lady's Bower, Westmeath. Leah's project is titled Citrus Peels - The Answer to Global Drought. Picture: Iain White - Fennell Photography.

"When we see the volumes and the substance of these projects, we know the future is in safe hands."

Minister for Education, Norma Foley said this year's projects "demonstrate the great ambition of our students who continue to push boundaries by exploring solutions to the issues of the day such as the global pandemic, climate change, mental health and many others."

The new interactive BTYSTE platform will be unveiled in January and will allow the exhibition to reach audiences around the country and beyond.

"We have a full schedule of events suitable for all ages to look forward to in January, including special acts, the Primary Science Fair, and business events, all taking place alongside the showcase of student projects," said Mari Cahalane, Head of the BTYSTE.

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