In previous years, successful entrants to the annual January showcase have found that the summer holidays can prove a useful time to work on their ideas.
Irish rugby international Mike Ross, who holds a BSc in Plant and Microbial Biotechnology from University College Cork, turned out yesterday to kick-start the 2015 competition in the company of RTÉ's Keelin Shanley, a Trinity science graduate, and former BT Young Scientist winner Aisling Judge.
Ross, who is heading to Argentina soon for the Ireland tour, said "science through sport has taught me more about the physical capabilities of our bodies as well as their limits, and how to harness and maximise my own athletic potential".
He said he would encourage all students to enter this year's competition.
The 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin, from January 7 to 10. The closing date for entries is October 1.
There are more than 120 awards, including the overall BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year, which was won by Paul Clarke, of St Paul's College, Raheny, this year.
In addition, BT offers over 30 participating students the chance to take part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp, an intensive skills programme that helps pupils transform their ideas into a real business opportunity.