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Girls outnumber boys at Young Scientist contest

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Dr Ronan Cullen of the Trinity College School of Chemistry and Hannah Ridden (14) from Loreto Secondary School in Balbriggan preparing for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition.

Dr Ronan Cullen of the Trinity College School of Chemistry and Hannah Ridden (14) from Loreto Secondary School in Balbriggan preparing for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition.

Shane O'Neill Fennell Photograph

Dr Ronan Cullen of the Trinity College School of Chemistry and Hannah Ridden (14) from Loreto Secondary School in Balbriggan preparing for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition.

Can you concentrate more if you stand rather than sit at school? Does the angle of a butterfly's wings affect its flying ability?

These and other burning questions will be answered as the countdown for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition gets under way in earnest.

A record number of students have qualified to take part in the exhibition, with 4,616 youngsters working on 2,077 projects.

And girls have again outnumbered boys when it comes to taking part, with 54pc of entries from girls and 46pc from boys.

The exhibition will take place in the RDS in Dublin from Wednesday until January 10 and is open to visitors from Thursday.

There's a great prize at stake as, for the first time, Ireland's universities have agreed to collaborate on providing university-entrance scholarships to winners at the Exhibition.

Scholarships of €1,000 will be awarded to every fifth- and sixth-year student who wins first place in either the individual or group categories at the exhibition, while a €2,000 scholarship will be awarded to any fifth- and sixth-year student who wins the overall BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year award.

BT Ireland chief executive Colm O'Neill said he hoped the scholarship scheme would provide a critical link between second-level learning and a potential career in science, maths and technologies.

Novelties at the exhibition will include a trip aboard the International Space Station through a 3D simulation with a view of Earth from 430km or watching Titan the robot.

Visitors can plan their visit to the RDS in advance by downloading the free BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition app. See www.btyoungscientist.com for more details or call 1800 924 362.

Irish Independent