Local students all set for virtual BT Young Scientist Exhibition

Projects from CBS Kilkenny, Castlecomer Community School, Loreto Kilkenny, Coláiste Pobail Osraí & St Kieran’s College feature

Christopher Dunne

Reporter:

Christopher Dunne

Email:

christopher.dunne@kilkennypeople.ie

CCS

Castlecomer Community School are well represented at this year's virtual BT Young Scientist (Picture: Castlecomer Community School)

The BT Young Scientist Exhibition begins tomorrow (Wednesday) and, for the first time ever, will be held entirely online.

Kilkenny will be well represented this year with projects from CBS Kilkenny, Castlecomer Community School, Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Loreto Secondary School and Saint Kieran’s College taking part.

BT have waived fees for the public so anyone can now view all local and national projects, enjoy shows and talks, visit exhibitor stands and watch the opening and awards ceremonies online.

CBS Kilkenny

CBS Kilkenny students will examine the effects of agricultural fertiliser on wildlife and the environment, explore the viability of calendar farming and present a study on renewable energy methods targeting CO2 reductions.

Castlecomer Community School

Castlecomer Community School will present the effects of phones on sleep quality, the effects of microwave heating on food quality, the socioeconomic impact of Covid-19.
Other projects include a study on the best way to cool down horses after intense physical activity, the impact of farming on soil health and mob mentality psychology.

Coláiste Pobail

Coláiste Pobail will weigh up the pros and cons of doing mathematics through Irish, the advantages of team sports versus individual sports, the impact of microorganisms on plant growth and present their findings on the long-term impact of vaping among teenagers.

Loreto Kilkenny

Loreto will put forward projects on mathematical algorithms, sideline cuts and solar power as well as projects on how food alters heart rate, how mindfulness impacts exam students, how device usage impacts short term memory and how camogie headgear may be linked to certain skin conditions.

St Kieran’s College

St Kieran’s College students will study the effects of fertiliser on grass growth, salt water batteries, sustainable food production, effects of eating before sleep as well as an individual project exploring how quantum phenomena inform our understanding of reality.

Selected from over 1,300 entries, the finalists represent 213 schools across 29 counties and will showcase their projects on the BTYSTE virtual platform to a national and increasingly international audience.

Minister for Education, Norma Foley has been highlighting the role that the BT Young Scientist Exhibition has played in bringing positivity to the much-changed educational landscape that 2020 has left in its wake.

“The Exhibition is the highlight of the school calendar every year,” she said.

“It gives our students a unique opportunity to explore and investigate their own interests in STEM subjects, and this year is no exception.

“The projects this year 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.”

Also featuring at the exhibition will be breakout star Danielle Wilcox, winner of the first ever BTYSTE ‘Irish Scientists Have Talent’ competition held by BTYSTE earlier this year.

Danielle, a telescope operator and resident astronomer at Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, will showcase the different types of telescopes used at Blackrock Castle including a large telescope used for imaging supermassive black holes.

Mari Cahalane, Head of BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, is delighted at how the competition has adapted itself so that it can go ahead for another successive year.

“After months of hard work and commitment to ensuring the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition could happen in 2021 we are delighted to reveal the first look at our exciting line up which will be housed on our amazing portal,” she said.

“The virtual exhibition will be free to guests from all around the world, allowing attendees of all ages to immerse themselves in the inspiring work of our students and hear from an array of exciting guest speakers – all from the comfort of their home or classroom, wherever in the world that may be.”

Last year, students from CBS Kilkenny and Loreto Secondary School impressed the judges so much that they managed to take home four awards from the Social & Behavioural Sciences and Biological and Ecological categories between them.

Schedule

The competition will run from Wednesday to Friday (9am to 5.30pm). The virtual opening ceremony will start at 1pm on Wednesday. The awards ceremony will be held at 1pm on Friday.

BT and the Young Scientist charitable trust is delighted to have many organisations supporting this 2021 exhibition, including the Department of Education & Skills, Analog Devices, Cisco, Perrigo and RTÉ.

Best of luck to all the local entries involved this year!