Seven Laois projects chosen for BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Seven Laois projects chosen for BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Evan Hogg from Heywood Community School winning at the 2020 BT Young Scientist Exhibition, has of the seven projects chosen from Laois in 2021.

Seven projects from students at two Laois secondary schools have qualified for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2021. 

BT Ireland has today revealed the 550 finalists who will represent their schools and communities from across the island of Ireland at the first-ever virtual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) from Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th January 2021.

Laois has seven projects, four from Portlaoise College and three from Heywood Community School. 


Portlaoise College projects are as follows:

Movie Moral: Social and Behavioural Sciences, Group project by Aleksandra Polak, Ben Cambell, Noor Fatima.



Sexism In Sport: Social and Behavioural Sciences, Group project by  Sean McComish Day & Faith Sacre Quigley.



Effects that different diets have on a venus fly trap: Biological and Ecological, Group project by Marta Kozakiewicz, Josh Boylan, Natalia Orlik. 

Microtransactions and their effect on human behavior; Social and Behavioural Sciences, Group project. Hristo Petrushkov,  Zara Murphy, Tim Drennan.

Noel Daly principal at Portlaoise College said it is their highest number of entrants in their history.

"We are delighted and looking forward to this year's exhibition, it will be very different and unique being online. This is a combination of the students' hard work and the work of our science department in promoting science," he said.

That science department is led by Mary Marum, with teachers Christopher Gleeson and Conor Whelehan. 

Heywood Community School has three entries.

The regulations at play behind your physical activity: A statistical analysis into how we can use SDT to better motivate the nation to participate in physical activity. Category: Social and Behavioural Sciences, Individual. By Evan Hogg.

The Effect of Binaural Beats On Our Memory; Social and Behavioural Sciences, Individual, by Cillian Moran.

Is Mental Illness Glamorised In Younger Generations and Why Is IT A Trend To Self Diagnose? In the Social and Behavioural Sciences category, a group project by Sarah Haide, Aoife Carey, Sinead Uys.

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.  

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a driving force behind a large number of entries this year with a quarter of all qualified projects delving into topics on health and the impact of Covid-19. 

Projects vary from topics which 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. The impact of Covid-19 is explored across all four project categories - Social & Behavioural Science; Technology; Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences; and Biological & Ecological Sciences.

Year after year, the students that enter the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition explore and analyse both national and global social issues which are important to them. Many projects this year touch on direct provision, gender studies, race, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and socioeconomic challenges. 

The ongoing prevalence of social media and technology in our everyday lives also features strongly in this year’s project trends alongside a growing trend of safety, our own personal safety and the safety of others. Qualified projects also demonstrate a continued interest in the science behind sports with projects investigating protective sportswear as well as the effects of nutrition on performance.

Over the coming weeks, students will focus on preparing to exhibit their projects and meet the judges at the 57th annual Exhibition.  

Mari Cahalane is Head of BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

“For the first time in its history, the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will be turned into a virtual exhibition.We are excited to unveil the new interactive BTYSTE platform in January which will also bring the exhibition to new audiences, far and wide. We are looking forward to showcasing the amazing projects from some of the brightest young minds in the country in a new and innovative way. 

"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," she said. 

Minister for Education is Norma Foley.

“The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is the highlight of the school calendar every year. It gives our students a unique opportunity to exploreand 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. 

"I wish to congratulate every student who worked so hard to prepare and present their projects,all of the teachers who supported them, and parents who have also provided huge support. I wish all of the students the very best and hope that you all enjoy the exhibition in January. I look forward to engaging with everyone involved within the new virtual platform.”

For the first time in its prestigious history, the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will be delivered across a virtual platform from January 6th – 8th 2021. This national celebration of science and technology is one of the country’s best attended events every year.  For participants, the Exhibition offers a chance to win one of the most coveted awards with a substantial prize fund and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, as well as over 200 prizes for individuals, groups, and teachers. 

For more information, visit www.btyoungscientist.com , or follow @BTYSTE on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Snapchat (username: BTYSTE).