EXPLODING balloons, singing robots and cars that turn upside down helped entertain thousands of excited schoolchildren at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.
Day two of the popular event yesterday saw a horde of students, teachers and science enthusiasts turn out at the RDS in Dublin, to take in the weird and wonderful inventions on display.
In between a tour of the 550 projects featuring props such as bicycles and baby chicks, children packed into seats in the arena to catch a glimpse of Titan the Robot, the 8ft android that could belt out hits such as ‘All By Myself' and ‘Let Me Entertain You'.
There was hysteria when the robot began dancing to the hit song ‘Gangnam Style', but it was Titan's rendition of Michael Buble's ‘Cry Me A River' that resulted in hundreds of high-pitched shrieks, with water spraying from its eyes into the audience during the performance.
With a record-breaking 2,000 entries to take part in this year's exhibition, competition to land the overall award is fierce.
For Richard Tynan (18), from Cistercian College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, it is his last chance to take part.
Richard took home a category prize last year and is looking to top that this time around with his exhibit that looks at advanced modelling and infilling algorithms in 3D printing.
But while his hopes are pinned on being crowned the 2014 BT Young Scientist, nothing could beat getting into his dream college yesterday morning – Cambridge University.
“I'm going over there to study Computer Science; it's been a dream of mine since I was a child, so it's very exciting,” he told the Irish Independent.
Richard's project enjoyed a lot of attention from onlookers.
“My project is figuring out how to get the optimum support structures on the inside of a 3D model and what different ways you can use a small amount of plastic to support it,” he explained.
The student has spent a full year working on the project and built many of the printer's parts himself.
Classmates Orla Sherlock and Jane Kavanagh (14), from Loreto College on St Stephen's Green in Dublin, looked at the advantages of being left-handed and discovered through testing that left-handed people type faster and are better at multi-tasking than their right-handed counterparts.
Aina Hannisa (16), from Regina Mundi College in Cork, looked at teenagers' attitude towards travel and completed a travel diary with peers over a seven-day period.
“The average Irish teenager is contributing three kilograms of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere everyday based on car travel alone, people are not aware of that.”