Secondary students looking outside the classroom to learn about technology, BT


27 June 2011

A survey conducted by BT has found that students are learning about science and information technology outside schools. The poll results, released as part of BT’s involvement in the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, showed that students are also seeing the value in entrepreneurial skills as a means to combat the recession.

Almost half of those surveyed said that science and technology are the areas that offer the most opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, three quarters believed that information technology is not adequately taught in their school, and the majority of students surveyed have turned to the Internet or their friends to learn more about technology.

Increased competition for college places and emigration are weighing heavily on students’ minds, with 81% of students agreeing that the strain of the recession is creating additional pressure for them to achieve high marks. Furthermore, 86% of students surveyed agreed that in order to pull Ireland through the economic downturn, continued investment in research and development was paramount.

Just under a fifth (18%) of participants said that popular figures such as physicist Dr. Brian Cox, Bang Goes the Theory presenter Liz Bonnin and comedian Dara O’Briain have an influence on their interest in science and technology.

Colm O’Neill, managing director, Business, BT Ireland, said: “The research highlights how aware the younger generation are of the issues Ireland faces… It is essential that we encourage this positive attitude and provide them the know-how, skills and confidence they will need to become the next generation of leaders in uncertain times.”

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in Dublin from 11-15 January. For more information visit

Niall Kitson

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