Belfast Telegraph

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition: It's time to call in the kids

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

Have you heard the one about the friendly fridge?

What about the antibiotic powers of air fresheners?

These are just a few of the innovations from Northern Ireland pupils who are taking part in the 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin.

A total of 54 students from 16 local schools have qualified in the junior, intermediate and senior categories to showcase 27 projects at Dublin’s RDS from today until Saturday.

In the past there have been seven winners from Northern Ireland and two of the 16 schools who have qualified this year are previous overall winners.

The exhibition inspires students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Pupils from St Killian's College in Carnlough have come up with a consumer-focused fridge Food Friend for the 2014 competition.

It tracks perishable goods in the fridge, stopping food being wasted and sent to landfill, and its inventors also say it saves families up to £10 per week.

Pupils from Wellington College in Belfast have built a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances Monitor to pick up the radio emissions from solar flares in the upper atmosphere and investigate their impact.

Meanwhile, students at St Louis Grammar School in Kilkeel have come up with the Easy Freezy, a device that prevents your car water tank and pipes from freezing during cold winter days.

Other ideas include a robot and a pill dispenser, plus investigations into the health benefits of grapefruit, the effect of bilingualism on the cognitive process of 15-year-old pupils in Irish-medium education, and the antibiotic effects of a range of air fresheners.

Peter Morris, director of corporate services at BT, said once again the quality of projects and level of engagement by Northern Ireland’s secondary school |students was fantastic.

“The number of qualified projects from Northern Ireland is testament to the sheer hard work, creativity, optimism and passion of the students and teachers involved in this year’s exhibition,” he said.

www.btyoungscientist.com

BACKGROUND

Over 120 awards will be presented at the 50th BT Young |Scientist & Technology Exhibition, including the overall BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year. BT will also offer more than 30 students the opportunity to take part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp, an intensive |commercialisation skills programme. The exhibition is |organised by BT, and is supported by Stormont’s Department of Education, the University of Ulster and MATRIX.

NI SCHOOLS IN THE RUNNING

CO ANTRIM: St Killian's College, Wellington College, Colaiste Feirste, Ballyclare High School, St Louis Grammar School and Dalriada School. CO ARMAGH: St Patrick's High School. CO DOWN: South Eastern Regional College -- Bangor Campus, St Louis Grammar School, Bangor Grammar School and Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School. CO FERMANAGH: Portora Royal School and St Fanchea's College.CO LONDONDERRY: St Mary's College and St Mary's Grammar School. CO TYRONE: Dean Brian Maguirc College.

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