Cork trio vying for top prize at EU Contest for Young Scientists this weekend 

In all, 150 students from 39 countries are competing in the competition
Cork trio vying for top prize at EU Contest for Young Scientists this weekend 

BT Young Scientist 2020 winners Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, and BT Young Scientist 2021 winner Gregory Tarr. Picture: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

The three Cork schoolboys who won the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) awards in 2020 and 2021 will be among 150 young people from 39 countries competing at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) this weekend.

With 2020’s competition postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s event sees winners from both this year and last year competing. 

As such, Gregory Tarr, a former student of Bandon Grammar School and winner of the overall prize at the 2021 competition for his project 'Detecting state-of-the-art deepfakes', will be joined at the EUCYS event by Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan – winners in 2020 for their social sciences-based project investigating the prevalence of gender stereotyping in five to seven-year-olds.

Cormac and Alan are current students at Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig.

In the 31-year-history of the EUCYS, Ireland has placed first an incredible 15 times, and the Cork trio will be hopeful they can add their names to the country's list of prizewinners.

Among those to wish Greg, Cormac, and Alan the best of luck ahead of the competition was Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who met with boys on Thursday afternoon.

"It is great to see our talented young students go on to present their projects on this international stage,” he said.

“Ireland has an impressive track record at the European competition, demonstrating the incredible Stem [science, technology, engineering and maths] talent coming through the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.” 

BT Ireland managing director Shay Walsh said the Cork students' BT Young Scientist winning projects are likely to impress the judges this weekend.

"We’ll be watching the contest with great enthusiasm and we offer our very best wishes to all three students, their schools and their community.”

The EU Contest for Young Scientists is part of the Science with and for Society activities (SwafS), and is managed by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.

SwafS itself is part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme – a framework aiming to "build effective cooperation between science and society, to recruit new talent for science, and to pair scientific excellence with social awareness and responsibility".

This year's European Union Contest for Young Scientists, hosted from Salamanca, Spain, is taking place virtually from Friday until Sunday.

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