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Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

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Title: Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition  
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Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

Exhibition stands in 2005

The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, commonly called the Young Scientist Exhibition, is an Irish annual school students' science competition that has been held in Dublin, Ireland, every January since 1965.[1]

The competition

The purpose of the competition is to encourage interest in science in primary and secondary schools. For the 50th year of the competition in 2014, there were about 2,000 entries, the highest number ever,[2] 550 of which were selected for the Exhibition at the Royal Dublin Society.

Students apply to participate in the competition. Their science project entries are evaluated by judges and about one third of applicants are accepted to participate in the public exhibition. Students are allocated exhibition stands in an exhibition hall where they set up their projects for viewing by the public. Competing projects are judged during the three days of exhibition, and prizes are awarded.

Projects are awarded in four categories: biology, physics, social and behavioral sciences, and technology. Three levels of entry are accepted.[1] In each category three main prizes are awarded; other prizes include a display award, highly commended rosettes, and a cancer awareness award. The winners of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition advance to participate in international events such as the European Union Contest for Young Scientists.

Aer Lingus sponsored the competition for the first 33 years.[1] 2014 was the 14th year in which the Exhibition was sponsored by BT Ireland.[3] It has produced at least one author, Sarah Flannery, and one millionaire, Patrick Collison.[3] Many of the past winners have gone on to establish international companies in the technology they developed. One of the most notable was Baltimore Technologies.

Father Tom Burke, who co-founded the exhibition with physicist Tony Scott, died in March 2008.[4] An award at the event was named in his memory.

Winners by year

Year Winner Age School Project Title Notes
1986 Niamh Mulvany & Breda Maguire 17 Rosary College, Raheny, Dublin Focus on the Viola Tricolour - an Indepth study on Bull Island Niamh and Breda went on to win a top award for Ireland at the Philips European competition for Young Scientists and Inventors, in Oslo in May 1986. They were presented to King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden at the Nobel Ball later in 1986. Both went on to graduate from Trinity College Dublin with Degrees in Natural Sciences, specialising in Botany.
1987 Henry Byrne & Emma Donnellan FCJ Secondary School, Bunclody, Wexford Fibre Optic Liquid Analyser
1988 Siobhan Lanigan O'Keeffe Navan Community College, Co Meath Geothermal Study of the River Skane
1989 Grace O'Connor and Sinead Finn Ursaline College, Thurles, Co Tipperary A Study on a Crop Fractation Industry
1990 Anna Minchin-Dalton Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin Studies of the Oyster Thief
1991 Daniel Dundas and Barry O'Doherty St Patrick's College, Maghera, Derry Dynamics of a Two-Well Potential Oscillator
1992 Elizabeth Dowling & Jean Byrne RIP St Paul's Secondary School, Dublin A Picture Winged Insect. Population Dynamics of a Thistle Predator Terellia Serratulae
1993 Donal Keane & Rodger Toner Abbey Grammar School, Newry, Co Down, NI Assessment of Female Quality by Male Gammarus
1994 Jane Feehan St Brendan's Community School The Secret Life of the Calluna Case-Carrier
1995 Brian Fitzpatrick and Shane Markey Abbey Grammar School, Newry, Co Down, NI Factors Affecting Cavitation in Whole Plants, Leaves and Vascular Bundles using Acoustic Detection
1996 Elsie O'Sullivan, Rowens Mooney, Patricia Lyne Scoil Mhuire, Portartlington, Co Laois The Perfect Queen Bee
1997 Ciara McGoldrick, Emma McQuillan, Fiona Fraser 17 Dominican College, Belfast, Co Antrim, NI The preservation of Biological Data in European Bog Bodies.
1998[5] Raphael Hurley 15 Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Cork The Mathematics of Monopoly Gained a BSc (Hons) Joint Honours in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from University College Cork in 2005[6]
Was named UCC Graduate of the Year in February 2006
1999 Sarah Flannery 16 Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney Cryptography – A new algorithm versus the RSA Wrote a book on her algorithm and number theory in general, In Code: A Mathematical Journey (ISBN 0-7611-2384-9)
First place – 11th European Union Contest for Young Scientists
Gained a BA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge in 2003, worked for Wolfram Research for a period and in 2006 was working with the EA Software Company in California, United States
2000 Thomas Gernon 16 Coláiste Rís, Dundalk, County Louth The Geography and Mathematics of Europe's Urban Centres First time in the competition's 36-year history that a Social & Behavioural Sciences project won the top award[7]
Graduated with First Class Honours in Geology from University College Dublin in 2004, going on to complete a PhD at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol
His research on the dynamics of volcanic eruptions has taken him from diamond mines in Botswana and Arctic Canada, to many active volcanoes around the world, including those of Iceland, Italy, Greece and Far Eastern Siberia
Currently lecturer of geology at Trinity College, Dublin
2001[8] Peter Taylor, Shane Browne and Michael O'Toole Investigating symmetrical shapes formed by polygons
2002[9] David Michael O'Doherty Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin The Distribution of the Primes and the Underlying Order to Chaos. Mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge
2003[10] Adnan Osmani 16 St Finnian's College, Mullingar, County Westmeath The graphical technological and user-friendly advancement of the Internet browser: XWebs Osmani filed for a patent for his networking socket and web browser in 2003. He graduated with a BSc in Software Engineer from Sheffield Hallam University, a Masters in Software Engineering from Warwick University and certificates in security from Oxford University. He has since written books on JavaScript development for O'Reilly and now works as an engineer at Google.
2004[11] Ronan Larkin 16 Synge Street CBS, Dublin Generalised Continued Fractions Mentored by Jim Cooke
2005 Patrick Collison 16 Castletroy College, Limerick Croma: a new dialect of Lisp Became an overnight millionaire at the age of 19 when he, alongside his 17-year-old brother John, sold their software company Auctomatic to a Canadian firm for more than €3 million[12]
2006 Aisling Judge 14 Kinsale Community School, County Cork The development and evaluation of a biological food spoilage indicator
Third place – 18th European Union Contest for Young Scientists; First Junior Category Winner[13]
2007 Abdusalam Abubakar 17 Synge Street CBS, Dublin An Extension of Wiener's Attack on RSA First place – 19th European Union Contest for Young Scientists[14]
Originally from Somalia, had not used a computer before arriving in Ireland twenty months earlier.[15] Mentored by Jim Cooke
2008 Emer Jones 13 Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, County Kerry Research and Development of Emergency Sandbag Shelters Youngest ever winner[16]
First winner from County Kerry[17]
First time her school had entered[17]
2009 Liam McCarthy and John D. O'Callaghan 13/14 Kinsale Community School, County Cork The Development of a Convenient Test Method for Somatic Cell Count and Its Importance In Milk Production Kinsale Community School became the first to hold two separate national award winners after Aisling Judge's 2006 win.[18]
First place – 21st European Union Contest for Young Scientists[19]
2010 Richard O'Shea 18 Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney, County Cork A biomass fired cooking stove for developing countries
2011[20] Alexander Amini 15 Castleknock College, Dublin Tennis sensor data analysis
2012[21] Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle 17/17 Synge Street CBS, Dublin Simulation accuracy in the gravitational many-body problem Synge Street CBS win the overall award for an unprecented three times[22]

First place – 24th European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Bratislava[23][24]

2013 Emer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge 15/15/15 Kinsale Community School, Cork A statistical investigation of the effects of Diazotroph bacteria on plant germination. Third time in seven years Kinsale Community School had won the competition. The girls went on take first prize at the EU Contest for Young Scientists in Prague in September 2013 and win the grand prize in the 2014 Google Science Fair in California.
2014 Paul Clarke 17 St Paul's College, Dublin Contributions to cyclic graph theory. This is the second time the school has won the event.

Winners by age

The youngest winners are listed first.

Age Winner School Project Title Year
13[16] Emer Jones Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, County Kerry Research and Development of Emergency Sandbag Shelters 2008
13/14 Liam McCarthy and John D. O'Callaghan Kinsale Community School, County Cork The Development of a Convenient Test Method for Somatic Cell Count and Its Importance In Milk Production 2009
14[25] Aisling Judge Kinsale Community School, County Cork The development and evaluation of a biological food spoilage indicator 2006

See also


  1. ^ a b c Christopher Moriarty (2003). Brian Lalor, ed. The Encyclopedia of Ireland.  
  2. ^ "Historic High As 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Receives Record Number of Entries". 
  3. ^ a b "Knowledge economy tops agenda for Young Scientists".  
  4. ^ Sean O'Riordan and Niall Murray (10 January 2009). "Milk project wins school its second scientist gong".  
  5. ^ "Top prize goes to Cork student". The Irish Times. 10 January 1998. Retrieved 22 January 2010. (subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "University College Cork(UCC): Study at UCC: Saol an Mhic Léinn : Student Profiles".  
  7. ^ "Dundalk student wins Young Scientist of the Year".  
  8. ^ "Investigating symmetrical shapes formed by polygons".  
  9. ^ "Maths whiz lands Young Scientist Award".  
  10. ^ "Browser project wins Young Scientist award".  
  11. ^ "Maths project wins Young Scientist".  
  12. ^ "Limerick brothers sell company for millions".  
  13. ^ "Aisling Judge DDN".  
  14. ^ "The 19th European Union Contest for Young Scientists".  
  16. ^ a b "Kerry student wins Young Scientist of the Year".  
  17. ^ a b Louise Hogan and Conor Bartley (12 January 2008). "Sandbags study helps Emer to top prize at awards".  
  18. ^ Leo McMahon (17 January 2009). "Kinsale Community School celebrates another BT Young Scientist success".  
  19. ^ Dick Ahlstrom (14 January 2010). "Event 'bedrock' of smart economy, says Tánaiste". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 January 2010. Dundalk rock band Curtain Thieves played a set before an aerial act from Fossett’s Circus took the stage, both giving impressive performances. BMX display riders Team Extreme then seemed to defy gravity as they spun across the stage, after which last year’s young scientists of 2009, John D O’Callaghan and Liam McCarthy accepted the generous cheers and applause, remembering their RDS win but also coming first in the European Young Scientist Competition last autumn. 
  20. ^ Dick Ahlstrom (14 January 2011). "Game, set and match for Young Scientist". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 January 2011. (subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ Ahlstrom, Dick (14 January 2012). "Maths project cracks it for enterprising duo". The Irish Times. (subscription required (help)). 
  22. ^ "Synge Street - where did it all go right?". Irish Times (Irish Times). 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. (subscription required (help)). 
  23. ^ "Two Irish students win European young scientist award in Bratislava". RTÉ Sport (RTÉ). 25 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  24. ^ "Dublin students take European honours". BBC Sport (BBC). 25 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  25. ^ "Youngest ever winner of Scientist competition".  

External links

  • Official website
  • Official archive
  • News article about 1999 project
  • News article about 1999 project
  • Slashdot Article on Adnan Osmani's Project
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