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23rd Nov 2012

O'Dowd's Praise For Young Scientists

Claire Craig

EDUCATION Minister, John O’Dowd,  hosted a reception for students from the north who entered the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2013.

Speaking at the event in Parliament Buildings, the Minister said: “The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is one of the largest and longest running of its kind in Europe. Now in its 49th year the exhibition continues to grow in popularity, attracting 1879 entries this year.

“I had the good fortune to visit the exhibition last year and spoke with the young people and teachers involved in bringing these exciting projects to fruition. I really appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into the exhibition and I commend everyone involved for their innovation and dedication.”

The Minister commended the 14 schools on making it through the tough short-listing process for 2013. He said: “Every entry to the exhibition deserves credit and recognition. There were 65 entries overall from the north and with 50% selected for the final. Students here are clearly extremely talented people and I believe that talent and dedication deserves to be recognised.

“In recent years there has been an upturn in pupils choosing to study STEM subjects. This is significant in today’s environment as STEM students have a key role to play in improving our society and economy. STEM students can help create a workforce that can fill the skills gap in our society and help drive the economy in the right direction.”

During the reception, the Minister acknowledged the schools which reaped success at last year’s exhibition, some of whom have also made it to the 2013 final. He also congratulated BT on the success they have had in showcasing the students’ talents through the competition and also for their continued support of the exhibition.

Peter Morris, Director of Corporate Services at BT said: “The increased popularity of the exhibition reflects the growing importance of science, technology, engineering and maths in today’s world. It is an exhibition that has thrived for 49 years, gaining respect on the island of Ireland and internationally as a result of the calibre of students that shine on the platform we provide. It is with valued partners such as the Department of Education that we can continue to influence more and more people to engage with the sciences in this exciting way, and we’d like to thank the Minister for his commitment and support.”

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