One of the most prominent youth competitions in Ireland, the ‘BT Young Scientist and Technologist Exhibition, has received a huge boost from the Irish University’s Association (IUA). The association, which includes UCD among other prestigious third level institutions, have expanded the scholarship scheme in order to encourage participation from secondary schools across the country.
In a statement from the IUA, they have expanded the prizes to include a scholarship of 1000 euro to the overall runners up of the senior individual and group categories. This is on top of a 2000-euro scholarship to the overall winner, and a 1000-euro scholarship to both of the senior category winners. This is in order to recognize and celebrate the exceptional achievements of BT Young Scientist students.
These categories include: Biological and Ecological sciences; chemical, physical, and mathematical sciences; social and behavioural sciences; and technology.
Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland further revealed to us that the IUA has provided “entrance scholarships to 40 students since 2015, and the expansion announcement is a further boost to the positive impact we can have on young peoples’ education and lives.”
A record breaking 3773 students from across the country participated in the 2019 edition of the competition, and with the scholarship scheme expansion being announced, the participation numbers are only going to increase.
The expansion allows students to choose from one of seven colleges that they may not have initially gotten the chance to attend. It encourages students from every corner of the country to enter into the exhibition, it has also taken some of the weight off their shoulders as they know it is not a complete win or bust mentality.
Furthermore, the expansion is of great advantage to the seven universities available for selection, as the addition of a BTYS&TE winner or runner up would be a huge boost to the prestige of a chosen college. Such a scheme narrows the divide between second and third level institutions and promotes the pursuit of achieving a place in an IUA college.
According to Lewis Purser, IUA Director of Learning, Teaching and Academic Affairs, with categories that tackle pressing issues right now in the world, including climate change and technology receiving scholarships, the scheme is “designed to encourage and support the participation by ambitious groups and individuals across our post-primary schools… in addressing the major societal challenges which Ireland and the world are currently facing.”
Luke Murphy – Reporter