Saturday, 12 January 2013

O’Dowd congratulates local winners at BT Young Scientist and TechnologyExhibition

Education Minister John O’Dowd has congratulated local young people who scooped top awards at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

Oakgrove Integrated College, Derry won the University of Ulster Special Award, given to the best project from the north, for their examination of how to develop methods to harvest seeds from crops for replanting by farmers in developing countries. Oakgrove were also awarded the prize sponsored by MATRIX, the NI Science Industry Panel, for the best school from the north of Ireland entering the event.

There was further success for local schools in the some of the specialist and individual categories which saw pupils from Rathmore Grammar School, Belfast and St Mary’s College, Derry receiving awards for their projects.

In addition, Sean Donnelly a teacher at St Louis Grammar School in Kilkeel received a prestigious Educator of Excellence award for his work.

Congratulating the participants, the Minister said: “These young people can be hugely proud of their achievements. The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition represents the culmination of months of hard work and attendance at the event is reward in itself – but it is also a hotly contested competition across many categories and with 550 projects in the finals, to win any award category is a fantastic achievement.

“I spent an illuminating and inspiring afternoon at the exhibition during which I was greatly impressed by not only the standard of project entries, but also the enthusiasm, energy and diligence of the young people. Such passion is a tribute to the teachers who have invested so much in encouraging and helping the students progress their projects, as well as to the young people themselves who clearly enjoy the whole experience.

“It is this kind of real excitement about STEM subjects that will help the Executive deliver its long term goals of boosting the local economy on the global stage by creating an innovative, knowledge-based workforce.”

The Minister continued: “As well as congratulating all the northern participants I would also like to commend Kinsale Community College, Cork on winning the overall prize for their project on the effects of Diazotroph bacteria on plant germination”

“Once again the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition has proved a great success and I reiterate my congratulations to all who took part and to BT for delivering an excellent event.”

For more information on the event, visit

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