Success for Northern Ireland students at the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Dublin, Friday, 13th January 2017: The winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) has been announced. Shane Curran, aged 16, a 5th year student from Terenure College, Dublin 6, has taken home the top prize for his project entitled ‘qCrypt: The quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology’. The announcement was made in the BT Arena at Dublin’s RDS this evening. Shane competed in the senior section of the Technology category.

Northern Ireland students, who this week showcased their projects at the prestigious event, were also formally recognised at the awards ceremony.

Beating off stiff competition, Loreto College Coleraine picked up the ‘MATRIX Best Northern Ireland School’ Award at the Exhibition. Dónal Close and Sian Donaghy from Loreto College Coleraine were also successfully awarded ‘BT – Northern Ireland Best Project’ for their entry ‘Phone Book Physics’ which was entered in the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category at intermediate level. They were also highly commended within this category.

Further awards were presented to Northern Ireland schools at the ceremony:

  • Emmett Brolly from Loreto College Coleraine received 1st place Senior Individual in the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category for his entry ‘Bead Fountains’
  • Alexander Baine from Ballyclare High School in Antrim picked up 2nd place for his project ‘Augmented Reality Sudoku Solver’ in the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category at intermediate level
  • Sean Connolly, a teacher at St Killian’s College in Antrim, received the ‘Analog Educator of Excellence’ award
  • The following schools were also highly commended at the Exhibition:
    • St Mary’s College, Derry~Londonderry for their project ‘SCOBY SCOBY Do’ in the Junior Individual section of the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CPM) category and ‘Investigating the effect of reheating pasta on the rate of digestion of its starch by amylase’ in the Intermediate Group section of the CPM category
    • Ballymena Academy Antrim for their project ‘Branch Strike Detector’ in the Senior Individual section of the Technology category
    • St Patrick’s High School in Armagh for their project ‘An investigation into how foam reduces spillage in liquids’ in the Junior Group section of the CPM category
    • St Catherine’s College Armagh for their project ‘Irish dancing is a sport, not just a hobby’ in the Junior Group section of the Biological and Ecological category and for their project ‘Eiseapláinéid a Fhiosrú’ in the Intermediate Group section of the CPM category
    • St Killian’s College in Antrim for their project ‘Distance Diagnostics’ in the Junior Group section of the Technology category
    • South Eastern Regional College Bangor Campus for their project ‘Investigating the link between habitat and the antibacterial effect of honey’ in the Senior Group section of the Biological and Ecological category

Education Minister, Peter Weir said:

“I would like to congratulate all of the students from Northern Ireland who have taken part in the Exhibition this year, you should all be very proud of what you have achieved. I would like to acknowledge the hard work that the students have put into their projects but also the support shown by all the teachers and schools who have helped these students to bring their projects to life. The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is a real highlight in the school calendar and the continued support by BT is vital, helping this event to go from strength-to-strength and become bigger and better each year.”

Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of NI Networks, said; “It has been an incredible exhibition that has captured the imaginations of tens of thousands of visitors who came to support young people and their ideas. I want to congratulate every student that entered, and in particular Shane, our overall winner. Technology skills are critical to companies like BT, and we are delighted to help discover home-grown talent in critical skills such as security and data storage that are needed by organisations based here and globally.”

Over 1,100 students from 375 schools across the island of Ireland competed for the coveted title of ‘BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017’

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition continues tomorrow, Saturday 14th January, and is open to the public from 09:30 a.m. – 17:30 p.m. Guests can expect to be wowed by a fantastic line-up of live shows including mentalist David Meade, renowned World of Robots and TITAN the Robot.

For more information, visitors can download the free BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition app now. Alternatively, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com, check out http://www.facebook.com/BTYSTE, or follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/btyste.

For footage of the Northern Ireland schools taking part in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsQAJtXy-Z8

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions. In an announcement made earlier this week, BT Ireland has extended its partnership with the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition until at least 2020. Close to 200 BT’s employees from across the island of Ireland run the exhibition each year, making the partnership one of the largest corporate responsibility initiatives in this market. BT’s valued partners in delivering the exhibition include the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Education Northern Ireland, Analog Devices, Intel, Perrigo, and RTE.