The 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) opened its doors to the public today (Thursday, January 11) at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS).
Over 1,100 inspiring students are showcasing their unique projects to an expected 50,000+ visitors and 84 judges at the 54th BTYSTE. An impressive 2,031 projects were submitted by students across the island of Ireland, with every county represented. Of these, 550 projects were chosen to be exhibited and judged at the event. Over 60% of qualified projects were submitted by female students with a number of these entries investigating what influences them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year’s overall award winner will receive a €7,500 prize and an opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists when it comes to Dublin in September.
The four-day exhibition, which runs until January 13, was officially opened by President Michael D Higgins, who paid tribute to the BTYSTE initiative, and highlighted the importance of science and technology transfer in responding to current global challenges, such as pollution, poverty and climate change.
A record number of entries also focused on social issues, such as homelessness, transgender rights and mental health. While subjects such as these are not uncommon in the behavioural science category, this year, the trend is also visible in the more traditional STEM categories.
The ninth annual primary RDS Science Fair Dublin is also taking place at the BTYSTE, with almost 3,000 primary school children taking part and exhibiting their STEM projects.