Tipperary students win overall prize at BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition
The winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) have been announced. Shane O’Connor and Liam Carew, both aged 19 and in sixth year in the Abbey School, Tipperary won with their project Assessing the impact of second-level education on key aspects of adolescents’ life and development. The prize was presented to the winners at the RDS in Dublin by Minister for Education Norma Foley, and managing director of BT Ireland, Shay Walsh.
The winners received the BTYSTE perpetual trophy and the top prize of €7,500. The winners will also represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, which takes place in Brussels, Belgium in September 2023. They will also get to attend the 64th Annual London International Youth Science Forum this summer.
Prof Joe Barry, chair of the social and behavioural sciences group judging panel, said: “What we are looking at here is a very impressive survey conducted in three waves over 24 months with more than 2,000 responses examining how secondary school students perceived school to impact on their social, physical and mental wellbeing. One of the key findings coming out of the research was that whilst inequality is prevalent in DEIS schools, exponential improvements in areas of pastoral care and physical health are quickly closing this gap. To quote directly from the students’ research, ‘Secondary school is a vital social outlet for students and this can be seen across our interviews, focus groups and in particular in our survey.”
Minister for Education, Norma Foley said: “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Shane and Liam on winning this truly prestigious trophy and award, in what has been another inspiring year of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. With the BTYSTE back in person for the first time since before the pandemic, I have had the pleasure to witness first-hand the level of innovation and creativity demonstrated by this year’s entrants, across a range of important and relevant topics.”
Ayush Tambde, aged 18 and in sixth year in Stratford College in Dublin won the prize for Best Individual, with his project, Analysis of single-cell proteomic data to understand the mechanisms of oncogenic transformation and how to control them.
Dr John Monahan, biological and ecological sciences group judge said: ‘This project studied the problems of breast cancer. As many know there are two major groups of breast cancer, one of which can be targeted by drugs for treatment and one of which is more difficult to treat. The project has taken new protein biology approaches to relook at an important existing data set and come up with novel insights into potential treatments for these difficult to treat basal cell breast cancers.’
Adrian Drogomir, aged 19 and in sixth year in Adamstown Community College in Dublin, won the prize for runner-up individual, with his project, AL-energy.
“Aluminium-based batteries could play a role in the provision of sustainable energy,” said Prof Orla Feely, chair of chemical, physical and mathematical sciences individual judging panel. “This project demonstrates through very detailed experiments how the design of the electrode impacts the battery performance and points the way to future design. The judges were very impressed by Adrian’s passion for the subject and his detailed implementation of the scientific method.’
Olivia O’Shea, Erica O’Brien Murray and Abigail O’Brien Murray, aged 17 and in fifth year in Loreto College, Balbriggan won the prize for runners-up group, with their project, Can we save the common ash?
Dr Richard O’Hanlon, biological and ecological sciences group judge said: “Ash dieback is the most serious tree disease to arrive in Ireland in over 50 years. These young scientists have provided robust data to highlight potential treatments which could, in combination with other actions, protect our native ash trees.’
Shay Walsh, managing director, BT Ireland said: “On behalf of the entire team at BT Ireland, I wish to thank each and every student who took part in this year’s exhibition for sharing your ideas with us. After a long three years, it has been a pleasure to welcome you all back to the event in person. The past week has been truly inspiring, and I am in awe of your unique and individual talents. The level of creativity, innovation and research displayed over the last number of days has been nothing short of remarkable, and I am humbled and grateful to be a part of it. “