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Student boffins vie for science gong

Schools from across Northern Ireland will be going for gold at the upcoming BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2012.

The annual science fair has attracted a record 1,743 entries from 354 schools from both here and the Republic.

In January 550 finalists will descend on the RDS in Dublin, where some 31 projects involving 65 students from Northern Ireland schools will be on display.

Pupils are making final preparations ahead of the exhibition which will showcase the talent of budding scientists.

BT, which sponsors the event, has praised the standard of the 72 projects which were entered by Northern Ireland schools.

Its Northern Ireland chief executive officer, Colm O’Neill, said: “I have been really impressed by the standard of entries received from Northern Ireland schools this year.

“In recent years Northern Ireland students have made their mark on the all-island event securing the top awards in the process. The sheer standard and variety of the entries qualifying for the exhibition gives a real reflection of the wealth of talent amongst local students.”

St Mary’s College, Londonderry, and Wellington College, Belfast, which are among the top local qualifying schools, will be exhibiting a number of projects.

And Northern Ireland schools’ chances of snapping up a top award at the awards early next year will be boosted after a surge in the number of students qualifying.

Projects which will be exhibited include ‘Remembering What

We Forget’— an investigation into effective ways to improve short-term memory, and a ‘Pupil Planner Mobile App’, which aims to help Year 8 students by providing them with instant access to an interactive map, personal timetable, homework diary and key school information.

The aim of the exhibition is to engage students in science, technology, engineering and commercialisation. The 2012 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS from January 11-14.

Belfast Telegraph