There were over 2,000 entries submitted for the 2017 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. All of these entries were screened and 550 projects were selected to compete at the Exhibition in the RDS.
When Tom Burke and Tony Scott first suggested the idea of a national science competition in 1964 and achieved 250 entries, they could not have forecast such growth. Over the years, the competition has seen a succession of powerful projects. It is certain that the students and teachers involved can state confidently ‘It Starts Here’.
In this lesson we emphasise some of the main features that must be recognised by students submitting an entry, with a particular emphasis on research and the effective use of statistics.
While the emphasis is often on group projects, the processes involved apply equally to individual projects. In other words, the principles remain the same. You must follow the recommended processes in all cases.
A glance at the top awards of the 2017 competition illustrates the extent of possible project topics. These are the titles of the top projects:
• Flint on the May
• Case Study of Data Mining
• Prey availability for hen harriers
The fact that these projects were carried out by second level students form Cork, Dublin and Sligo is a tribute to current science education in Ireland.
The BTYSTE competition is an adventure. Whether or not you win an award, the impact on your future can be comprehensive and, sometimes, spectacular. Who would have forecast that two brothers from County Limerick, who won the top award in 2010, would have founded the now famous online payment company called Stripe
(current market value $9 billion)?
The experience of engaging in the competition is extremely valuable in personal terms. You will learn something new every time you enter. Remember that the 2017 winner, Shane Curran, from Terenure College Dublin, had competed in the previous three competitions. It Starts Here.
Follow the rules
You cannot fail to follow the rules if you take the advice offered by Dr. Tony Scott’s 10 Top Tips. These tips are presented on his video at http://btyoungscientist.com/top-tips/