With less than three weeks to go before the closing date for entries to the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), students from Donegal are being encouraged to get their thinking caps on and get involved in the 2019 exhibition.

Eighteen year old Shane Curran was named BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year in 2017 for his project qCrypt, a quantum secure data storage solution. Since winning the competition, Shane has turned his BTYSTE project idea into a successful data privacy start-up, and is currently in the process of recruiting up to 20 people in Dublin. He also just received in Leaving Certificate results and plans to study Business & Law at UCD.

Shane says, “I can’t encourage Donegal students enough to submit their applications for the BTYSTE. Entering, and being lucky enough to win the BTYSTE, has opened so many doors for me. Participating in the competition gave me the skills, confidence and connections to develop the ideas from my project into a viable business which is expanding rapidly with plans to hire a large team in Dublin. It all started at the BTYSTE.”

“My top tip for students considering entering the Exhibition is to base your project submission on something you have a natural interest in, such as a hobby or past time. Think about what improvements can be made in this area and start building your submission from there”.

“Entering and participating at the BTYSTE was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life and I really recommend all students to submit an entry – it could be you next year.”

The call for Donegal students to enter the BTYSTE and pursue STEM is heightened by BT Ireland’s research into student interests and employees working in STEM. In fact, the survey carried out in 2017 highlighted strong links (77%) between students who participated in the BTYSTE and those who went onto to study STEM at third level. STEM received a further endorsement this year as the 2018 survey of STEM employees showed that 82% believe their work is inspiring and makes a positive contribution to society: a message which organisers of the Exhibition believe will help inspire Donegal students to consider taking part in events such as the BTYSTE.

Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland, who will mark its 19th year as organiser and sponsor of the BTYSTE this January added, “Every year, we watch our fantastic BTYSTE alumni go on to great success and we feel so much pride when they say it all started with the BTYSTE. That’s what I would say to anyone considering entering this year’s exhibition. Just give it a go and who knows where the journey will take you. I wish the very best of luck to all of you over the coming weeks as you finalise your entries.”

The application process is straightforward: students can enter individual or group projects into one of four categories; technology, social and behavioural science, biological and ecological science, or chemical, physical and mathematical. Submissions take the form of a one-page proposal outlining the project idea which is then submitted online. Students have until midnight on Tuesday 25th September 2018 submit their entries at www.btyoungscientist.com.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place from the 9th- 12th January, 2019 at the RDS in Dublin. The exhibition offers one of the most coveted awards for participants, with a substantial prize fund and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, as well as over 140 prizes for individuals, groups, and teachers.

The overall winner is then invited to represent Ireland at the EU Contest for Young Scientists. Ireland has enjoyed great success at the event in recent years, winning first prize at the contest a total of 14 times, second only to Germany. Ireland will be represented by current BT Young Scientist winner Simon Meehan, when the contest takes place (14th-19th September 2018) in Dublin’s RDS. Tickets can be downloaded for free atwww.eucys2018.com/tickets.

For more information on the exhibition and for details on how to enter, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com or follow BTYSTE on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube or Snapchat (username: BTYSTE).

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.