Science & Technology in Action

16th Edition

Research is the Key

BT Young Scientist & Technology

Agricultural Science
Construction Studies
Computer Science
Politics & Society
BTYSTE 2021 will take place on-line, the first virtual exhibition in its 57 year history. However, the challenges for those students submitting projects remains the same. Among many other aspects, the competition judges will still look for clear evidence of appropriate and well managed research. This lesson outlines the project requirements emphasising the central role of scientific research.

Available downloads

The full lessons along with a supporting toolkit are available in three different formats, A4, A3 and as a Powerpoint deck.

Lesson excerpt


For the first time in its 57-year history, the Exhibition will be going virtual in January 2021 and will be broadcast across the world. This will be a unique occasion, driven by the current restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the demands on those students who are competing remain as before and these requirements must be adhered to. In this lesson we discuss the central importance of research, what it means and how it is best applied to a BTYSTE project.

What is research?

The word research is derived from the French “recherche”, which means ‘seeking’. In general, there are three steps involved – collecting, organising and analysing information. There are many more detailed definitions including, for example, the following statement from the OECD: ‘Any creative systematic activity undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications.’ OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms – Research and Development UNESCO Definition As shown in the panel ‘Research is the answer,’ the BTYSTE Virtual Exhibition Factfile 2021 (available at offers a clear definition which should be noted by all competitors. Research is the process that leads to new knowledge that was sought in order to answer questions or solve problems. The advice is specifically aimed at the challenges of choosing a meaningful topic for your project, learning as much as possible about that topic and asking the right questions.