With the exhibition now open to the public, attendees are spoilt for choice at the BT Young Scientist, writes Conor de Paor.
With 550 projects on display in the RDS it’s easy to forget the myriad other shows and workshops available at the BT Young Scientist. Starting from 9.30 yesterday morning more than five other halls opened at the RDS filled to the brim with robots, demonstrations, hovercraft, workshops, 3D printers, you name it.
CoderDojo, described as “the global network of free computer programming clubs for young people”, have workshops running throughout the day. Laptops are set up allowing anyone to sit down and learn to make their own website in just 40 minutes. Starting in July of last year a challenge was launched by CoderDojo, the US embassy and other educational partners called “This is not a game”. Irish students were tasked with designing a computer game to raise awareness of marine issues like overfishing and ocean pollution. The winning games are being presented at the BT Young Scientist.
There are many shows available at the exhibition this year. W5’s “Light Fantastic” explores the light just outside of what humans can see. Using an infrared camera, the show’s host could detect the heat signature of a student’s foot prints as they walked about on stage. The robot “Titan” also makes a return appearance this year and is not to be missed!
The Science Gallery’s Makeshop is also exhibiting this year. The group are offering soldering lessons where students learn to put together their own electronic circuit to then take home. A 3D printer is also on display, a technology that is rapidly becoming part of our daily lives.
The RDS Primary Science Fair is taking place at the same time as the Young Scientist. Primary schools from all over Ireland are given the chance to display a class project for one day at the exhibition. Yesterday, classes presented their work on questions such as, “Are the hardest conkers produced naturally or can we influence their strength?” Garranbane National School from Waterford are going up in the world today as they answer the question “With multiple helium balloons, how much weight can be lifted and why?”
The awards ceremony will be taking place at 5.30pm today where the BT Young Scientist of the year will be announced alongside many other prizes.