Pictured at last year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2020 is Leah Shaw, 6th year Our Lady’s Bower, Westmeath. Leah’s project is titled Citrus Peels - The Answer to Global Drought. Photos: Fennell Photography

Lucky 13 Cavan projects in Young Scientist Exhibition

Thirteen projects from three secondary schools across Cavan have qualified for the 57th annual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2021. Colaiste Dun an Ri in Kingscourt is leading the charge with seven projects qualified for the first ever virtual finals.

They are among 550 finalists who will represent their schools and communities from across the island of Ireland at the first-ever virtual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) from today (Wednesday), January 6 to Friday, January 8.

Selected from over 1,300 entries, the finalists represent 213 schools across 29 counties and will showcase their projects on the BTYSTE virtual platform to a national - and increasingly international - audience.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a driving force behind a large number of entries this year with a quarter of all qualified projects delving into topics on health and the impact of Coronavirus. Projects vary from topics which explore the effects lockdown may have had on different socio-economic groups, to investigations into the effectiveness of different types of facemasks and the impact of hand sanitizer on our skin. The impact of Covid-19 is explored across all four project categories - Social & Behavioural Science; Technology; Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences; and Biological & Ecological Sciences.

Year after year, the students that enter the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition explore and analyse both national and global social issues, which are important to them. Many projects this year touch on direct provision, gender studies, race, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and socioeconomic challenges.

The ongoing prevalence of social media and technology in our everyday lives also features strongly in this year’s project trends alongside a growing trend of safety, our own personal safety and the safety of others. Qualified projects also demonstrate a continued interest in the science behind sports with projects investigating protective sportswear as well as the effects of nutrition on performance.

Mari Cahalane, head of BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, said: “For the first time in its history, the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will be turned into a virtual exhibition. We are excited to unveil the new interactive BTYSTE platform in January, which will also bring the exhibition to new audiences, far and wide. We are looking forward to showcasing the amazing projects from some of the brightest young minds in the country in a new and innovative way."

Congratulating all the finalists,Minister for Education, Norma Foley said: “The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is the highlight of the school calendar every year. It gives our students a unique opportunity to explore and investigate their own interests in STEM subjects, and this year is no exception.

The projects this year demonstrate the great ambition of our students who continue to push boundaries by exploring solutions to the issues of the day such as the global pandemic, climate change, mental health and many others."

For participants, the Exhibition offers a chance to win one of the most coveted awards with a substantial prize fund and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, as well as over 200 prizes for individuals, groups, and teachers.

Cavan Projects in 2021 Exhibition

Colaiste Dun an Ri: ‘Maskne. What are your masks keeping out and what are they keeping in?'

Colaiste Dun an Ri: 'A study of the factors that affect the type of dreams we experience'

Colaiste Dun an Ri: 'An Investigation into the relationship between Irish lottery participants and their socio-demographic backgrounds' by second year students Hannah, Dinara and Aideen

Colaiste Dun an Ri: 'A Statistical Analysis of Young People’s Awareness and Attitude to COVID-19 in Ireland'

St Bricin’s College, Belturbet: 'The effect hand sanitiser has on different materials'

St Bricin’s College, Belturbet: 'Does colour effect the amount of feed a bird will eat? '

St Bricin’s College, Belturbet: 'A Statistical'

Colaiste Dun an Ri: 'The biological effects of wearing a mask on a student’s day to day life'

Colaiste Dun an Ri: 'Are protein bars and snacks worth it?'

Bailieborough Community School: 'Are our cleaning habits affecting our household surfaces?'

Bailieborough Community School: 'An investigation to determine if shelter affects nutrient quantity'

Bailieborough Community School: 'An investigation to determine if porous fruit absorbs pesticides and chemicals'

Colaiste Dun an Ri: 'An analysis of the intake of iron and the awareness of the importance of iron among teenage girls in the prevention of iron deficiency anaemia'