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Saturday 21 April 2018

BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition kicks off at the RDS

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2018
BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2018
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

The first Irish person set to travel to outer space will be inspiring young students at the 54th BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition.

Mayo woman Dr Norah Patten is Ireland’s first astronaut in training and became fascinated with space at the age of 11 after a family trip to NASA in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2014, Norah sent Ireland’s first student experiment to the International Space Station and is now a faculty member at the International Space University.

She will make a guest appearance at the BT Young Scientist exhibition which kicks off tomorrow at the RDS in Dublin, bringing together the brightest young minds in the country.

First year students Clodagh Clarke (13) and Abbie Cassidy (12) from Ringsend College in Dublin will be showing their findings on the causes and treatment of anxiety in students.

They found out many students reported feeling stressed and anxious in school - with boys more worries about tests and exams while girls worried more about loneliness or stress at home.

“Talking is the best thing that helps,” said Abbie.

President Michael D Higgins will officially open the exhibition at a special ceremony tomorrow which will be streamed live on Facebook.

Shay Walsh, Managing Director of BT Ireland said that as always, the standard continues to soar, with projects focusing on pressing societal issues like homelessness and its impact on families and children attending school, the burning topic of ‘fake news’ as well as problems like anxiety which many students face themselves.

Over 50,000 members of the public are expected to attend the exhibition from Thursday through to Saturday.

Founder of the Young Scientist exhibition Tony Scott said he had never expected the event to go on as long as it has.

“The enthusiasm shown by the students is something we have to capture and bottle,” he said.

Problems like climate change and plastics in the seas are difficulties we have created for ourselves, he said, adding that this current generation of young students will be the ones who will find a solution.

And amongst those attending will be the winners of the Young Scientist exhibition in Tanzania - which is modelled on the Irish event, Tony revealed.

The group, which won with a project on smoke alarms, will be meeting the Ei smoke alarm company in Shannon, co Clare to do a tour of the factory and discuss their findings, he said.

The winner of the inaugural exhibition in Tanzania six years ago is currently about to graduate as a doctor, Tony added.

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