O’Dowd congratulates local entrants to Top Science Exhibition

Date published: 03 December 2015

Education Minister, John O'Dowd, has congratulated local pupils and their schools on entering the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2016.

In recognition of the entries from the north, Minister O’Dowd praised the entrants during a reception hosted at Parliament Buildings for the students and teachers. A total of 54 projects from 21 schools from the north have been entered, with 26 projects from 13 schools qualifying for the finals at the RDS, Dublin in January 2016.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to be able to host this event again this year in celebration of the innovative projects produced by the very talented young pupils from the north. The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition has now been running for many years and is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The exhibition is a major platform in Ireland for young people to showcase their projects and it continues to stimulate the interest and imagination of everyone who visits each year.

“The importance of STEM, science, technology, engineering and maths, continues to have an increasing importance in today’s world. If the north is to have long-term economic success, then we need to continue developing and encouraging interest in STEM. Schools which with a strong focus on science and technology will help create the workforce that will drive our economy in an ever increasing global market in the future.”

In conclusion, the Minister said:

“The exhibition which is held in Dublin is much more than a science competition. It provides a great opportunity for pupils across Ireland to meet, share ideas and learn from each other. Every entry to this exhibition deserves credit, whether it has been selected for the finals or not. I commend every single entry from the north and congratulate the pupils on their commitment to their projects. I also commend the dedication of the teachers in assisting pupils with the development of their projects. Without that commitment, pupils may not have entered the competition. I encourage those who did not make this year’s finals to learn from the experience and try again next year and I urge schools which have not entered before, to consider doing so.”

Peter Morris, head of operations, BT Networks Northern Ireland said:

“Having thrived for 52 years, the BT young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is one of the longest standing and most successful school science events in the world and provides a strong platform for creative young minds to showcase their skills in the critical subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths. This is why BT has both organised and sponsored the exhibition for the past 16 years and why are delighted to announce today that we are extending our commitment to this world class event until at least 2018. I’d like to congratulate all of the students across Northern Ireland who submitted an entry to the 2016 exhibition and to those that have been shortlisted, I wish you all the very best of luck in January.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education Works for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.

2. See photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.

3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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