Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition
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The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, commonly called the Young Scientist Exhibition, is an Irish annual school students' science competition that has been held in the Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland, every January since the competition was founded by Fr. Tom Burke & Dr. Tony Scott in 1965.
The purpose of the competition is to encourage interest in science in secondary schools. For the 51st year of the competition in 2016, there were over 2,000 entries, from 396 schools which was the highest number ever, 550 of which were selected for the Exhibition at the RDS.
Students apply to participate in the competition. Their science project entries are evaluated by judges and about one third of applicants are accepted to participate in the public exhibition. Students are allocated exhibition stands in an exhibition hall where they set up their projects for viewing by the public. Competing projects are judged during the three days of exhibition, and prizes are awarded.
Projects are awarded in four categories: biology, physics, social and behavioral sciences, and technology. Three levels of entry are accepted. In each category three main prizes are awarded; other prizes include a display award, highly commended rosettes, and a cancer awareness award. The winners of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition advance to participate in prestigious international events such as the European Union Contest for Young Scientists.
Dr John Monahan, PhD, was the inaugural winner of the Young Scientist Exhibition in 1965, then a student of Newbridge College, his project was an explanation of the process of digestion in the human stomach. He went on to establish a NASDAQ-listed biotech company in California after attending University College Dublin.
Aer Lingus sponsored the competition for the first 33 years. 2017 marked the 17th year in which the Exhibition was sponsored by BT Ireland. It has produced[clarification needed] at least one author, Sarah Flannery, and one billionaire, Patrick Collison. Many of the past winners have gone on to establish international companies in the technology they developed. One of the most notable was Baltimore Technologies.
Overall Winners by year
|1970||Maria Edgeworth||Convent of Mercy, Co. Longford||To extract pigments from various flowers and investigate their possible practical use|
|1971||Peter Short||Presentation Convent, Clane, Co. Kildare||A survey of Lough Bollard, near Clane, to determine its history and the reason for its disappearance in the 18th century|
|1972||Seán Mac Fheorais||Coláiste Mhuire, Baile Atha Cliath||Grinn- staidéar ar pterostigmata|
|1973||Tadhg Begley||North Monastery CBS, Co. Cork||A painstaking search for minerals and pollutants in water samples collected in jars over a number of years from the sea off Youghal|
|1974||Richard Elliott||Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh||The use of computer techniques to provide mathematical models of biological situations|
|1975||Noel Boyle||St Finian’s College, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath||A study of photoelectric cells and construction of a spectrophotometer|
|1976||Mary Kelly-Quinn||Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan||To the existence of minerals by means of analyzing rock slides; to carry out a geophysical survey aimed at verifying direction and depth of veins and mineral outcrops|
|1977||Micheal Og O’Briain||Colaiste Mhuire, Dublin||An integrated study of the scientific conservation of Rogerstown Estuary, County Dublin|
|1978||Donald McDonnell||Crescent College Comp, Dooradoyle, Co. Limerick||A study of effect of proven pollution on ecological balance in the Shannon at Limerick||Donald received a degree in Biochemistry from UCG (now NUIG) in 1983. He then left Ireland and moved to Houston where he did a PhD in Cell Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Bert O'Malley at Baylor College of Medicine. His thesis, which involved the molecular cloning of receptors for steroid hormone receptors, brought him into the field of drug discovery. Following his fellowship training he left academics for a while and worked as head of Molecular Biology at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company in San Diego. In 1994 he moved back to academics and is now the Glaxo-Wellcome professor of molecular cancer Biology at Duke University|
|1979||Jervis Good||Midleton College, Co. Cork||The concept of Ecopolemiology as Illustrated by a Preliminary Study of the Bionomics of the Earwig|
|1986||Niamh Mulvany & Breda Maguire||17/17||Rosary College, Raheny, Dublin||Focus on the Viola tricolor - an Indepth study on Bull Island||Niamh and Breda went on to win a top award for Ireland at the Philips European competition for Young Scientists and Inventors in Oslo in May 1986. They were presented to King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden at the Nobel Ball later in 1986. Both went on to graduate from Trinity College Dublin with degrees in Natural Sciences, specialising in Botany.|
|1987||Henry Byrne & Emma Donnellan||FCJ Secondary School, Bunclody, Co. Wexford||Fibre Optic Liquid Analyser|
|1988||Siobhan Lanigan O'Keeffe||Navan Community College, Co. Meath||Geothermal Study of the River Skane|
|1989||Grace O'Connor and Sinéad Finn||Ursuline College, Thurles, Co Tipperary||A Study on a Crop Fractation Industry|
|1990||Anna Minchin-Dalton||Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin||Studies of the Oyster Thief|
|1991||Daniel Dundas and Barry O'Doherty||St. Patrick's College, Maghera, Derry||Dynamics of a Two-Well Potential Oscillator|
|1992||Elizabeth Dowling & Jean Byrne||St Paul's Secondary School, Greenhills, Dublin 12||A Picture Winged Insect. Population Dynamics of a Thistle Predator Terellia Serratulae|
|1993||Donal Keane & Rodger Toner||Abbey Grammar School, Newry, Co. Down||Assessment of Female Quality by Male Gammarus|
|1994||Jane Feehan||St Brendan's Community School||The Secret Life of the Calluna Case-Carrier|
|1995||Brian Fitzpatrick and Shane Markey||Abbey Grammar School, Newry||Factors Affecting Cavitation in Whole Plants, Leaves and Vascular Bundles using Acoustic Detection|
|1996||Elsie O'Sullivan, Rowens Mooney, Patricia Lyne||Scoil Mhuire, Portarlington, Co. Laois||The Perfect Queen Bee|
|1997||Ciara McGoldrick, Emma McQuillan, Fiona Fraser||17||Dominican College, Belfast||The preservation of Biological Data in European Bog Bodies.|
|1998||Raphael Hurley||15||Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Cork||The Mathematics of Monopoly||Gained a BSc (Hons) Joint Honours in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from University College Cork in 2005 |
Was named UCC Graduate of the Year in February 2006
|1999||Sarah Flannery||16||Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney||Cryptography – A new algorithm versus the RSA||Wrote a book on her algorithm and number theory in general, In Code: A Mathematical Journey (ISBN 0-7611-2384-9) |
First place – 11th European Union Contest for Young Scientists
Gained a BA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge in 2003, worked for Wolfram Research for a period and in 2006 was working with the EA Software Company in California, United States
|2000||Thomas Gernon||16||Coláiste Rís, Dundalk, County Louth||The Geography and Mathematics of Europe's Urban Centres||First time in the competition's 36-year history that a Social & Behavioural Sciences project won the top award |
Graduated with First Class Honours in Geology from University College Dublin in 2004, going on to complete a PhD at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol
His research on the dynamics of volcanic eruptions has taken him from diamond mines in Botswana and Arctic Canada, to many active volcanoes around the world, including those of Iceland, Italy, Greece and Far Eastern Siberia
Currently lecturer of geology at Trinity College, Dublin
|2001||Peter Taylor, Shane Browne and Michael O'Toole||—||St. Kilian's Community School, Ballywaltrim, Bray||Investigating symmetrical shapes formed by polygons|
|2002||David Michael O'Doherty||—||Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin||The Distribution of the Primes and the Underlying Order to Chaos.||Mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge|
|2004||Ronan Larkin||16||Synge Street CBS, Dublin||Generalised Continued Fractions||Mentored by Jim Cooke|
|2005||Patrick Collison||16||Castletroy College, Limerick||Croma: a new dialect of Lisp||Became an overnight millionaire at the age of 19 when he, alongside his 17-year-old brother John, sold their software company Auctomatic to a Canadian firm for more than €3 million. They then went on to found the company Stripe. As of 2017 Patrick is the CEO of the company and owns a stake worth US$1.1 billion.|
|2006||Aisling Judge||14||Kinsale Community School, County Cork||The development and evaluation of a biological food spoilage indicator|
Third place – 18th European Union Contest for Young Scientists; First Junior Category Winner
|2007||Abdusalam Abubakar||17||Synge Street CBS, Dublin||An Extension of Wiener's Attack on RSA||First place – 19th European Union Contest for Young Scientists |
Originally from Somalia, had not used a computer before arriving in Ireland twenty months earlier. Mentored by Jim Cooke
|2008||Emer Jones||13||Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, County Kerry||Research and Development of Emergency Sandbag Shelters||Youngest ever winner |
First winner from County Kerry
First time her school had entered
|2009||Liam McCarthy and John D. O'Callaghan||13/14||Kinsale Community School, County Cork||The Development of a Convenient Test Method for Somatic Cell Count and Its Importance In Milk Production||Kinsale Community School became the first to simultaneously hold two separate national award winners after Aisling Judge's 2006 win.
First place – 21st European Union Contest for Young Scientists
|2010||Richard O'Shea||18||Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney, County Cork||A biomass fired cooking stove for developing countries|
|2011||Alexander Amini||15||Castleknock College, Dublin||Tennis sensor data analysis|
|2012||Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle||17/17||Synge Street CBS, Dublin||Simulation accuracy in the gravitational many-body problem||Synge Street CBS win the overall award for a then unparalleled three times|
|2013||Emer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge||15/15/15||Kinsale Community School, Cork||A statistical investigation of the effects of Diazotroph bacteria on plant germination.||Third time in seven years Kinsale Community School had won the competition, thereby matching Synge Street CBS for most wins. The girls went on take first prize at the EU Contest for Young Scientists in Prague in September 2013 and win the grand prize in the 2014 Google Science Fair in California.|
|2014||Paul Clarke||17||St Paul's College, Raheny, Dublin||Contributions to cyclic graph theory.||This is the second time the school has won the event.|
|2015||Ian O'Sullivan and Eimear Murphy||16/16||Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co Cork||Alcohol consumption: Does the apple fall far from the tree?|
|2016||Maria Louise Fufezan and Diana Bura||16/15||Loreto Ballbriggan, Balbriggan, Co Dublin||An Investigation into the Effects of Enzymes used in Animal Feed Additives on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis Elegans|
|2017||Shane Curran||16||Terenure College, Terenure, Dublin||qCrypt: The quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage platform with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology||This is the first time the school has won the event|
|2018||Simon Meehan||15||Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Cork||Investigation of the antimicrobial effects of both aerial and root parts of selected plants against Staphylococcus aureus.|
Winners by age
The youngest winners are listed first.
|13||Emer Jones||Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, County Kerry||Research and Development of Emergency Sandbag Shelters||2008|
|13/14||Liam McCarthy and John D. O'Callaghan||Kinsale Community School, County Cork||The Development of a Convenient Test Method for Somatic cell count and Its Importance In Milk Production||2009|
|14||Aisling Judge||Kinsale Community School, County Cork||The development and evaluation of a biological food spoilage indicator||2006|
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Dundalk rock band Curtain Thieves played a set before an aerial act from Fossett’s Circus took the stage, both giving impressive performances. BMX display riders Team Extreme then seemed to defy gravity as they spun across the stage, after which last year’s young scientists of 2009, John D O’Callaghan and Liam McCarthy accepted the generous cheers and applause, remembering their RDS win but also coming first in the European Young Scientist Competition last autumn.
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