Organisations collaborate to promote STEM learning across Northern Ireland
Belfast, Wednesday 4th June 2014: BT today marked the launch of the 2015 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition by announcing an exciting new partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, that will see both organisations come together to foster greater engagement in STEM subjects across Northern Ireland.
In addition to encouraging more schools to get involved in the BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition, the partnership with Queen’s provides BT with a platform to bring its successful ‘BT Business Bootcamp’ to Northern Ireland for the first time. The BT Business Bootcamp was launched in 2010 in the Republic of Ireland as a way to help students bridge the gap between education and business. Each year, 30 students who participate in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, and who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and business acumen, are invited to attend this four day innovation and skills camp. With the help of established business leaders, the bootcamp inspires creativity and innovative thinking, and gives students the practical skills and know-
how to take their commercially viable ideas to the next level.
The 2015 Northern Ireland BT Business Bootcamp will also include collaboration with the NI Science Connect programme, to offer additional support to those students who want to turn their idea into a business prospect.
Peter Morris, Director of Corporate Services, BT Ireland commented, "At BT we are extremely proud of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and are delighted that Queen’s, a world renowned academic institution recognises the exhibition as an outstanding forum for driving interest and up-take in STEM subjects.
“Through the Queen’s outreach network, we will be engaging directly with more students and by delivering a dedicated Northern Ireland BT Business Bootcamp we are giving selected students real practical skills that will equip them to turn an idea into a viable business prospect. We hope that even more Northern Ireland schools will get involved this year to showcase the tremendous talent of our young people on both a national and international platform.”
Professor Tom Millar, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen’s added: “Queen’s is committed to increasing the opportunities available to all our young people, and is therefore pleased to support the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and its Business Bootcamp. Some 58 per cent of all new jobs are going to be STEM related in the years ahead, and so we are delighted to be part of an event which helps pupils develop the kind of STEM skills that will enable them to have a well-paid and satisfying career in the years to come, and which are key to meeting some of the biggest challenges we face as a society today.”
Emma Crothers and Kenneth Millar from Wellington College Belfast won 1st prize in their category and a Display award for their project ‘The Miracle Citrus: By nature or by nuture?’ at the 2014 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Commenting on her experience, Emma said, “We were absolutely delighted to win this award as the competition was incredibly tough; it justifies all the hard work the team put into our entry. We can’t say strongly enough about how hugely rewarding taking part in the BT Young Scientist & Technology competition is and we would encourage other students to get involved next year as it was an amazing experience, it really was the highlight of our year.”
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, now in its 51st year, has attracted almost 70,000 students and received over 33,000 projects since its inception. Today’s announcement will be a major force in helping to further drive the focus of STEM subjects in schools and encourage more students to seek a career within the fields of science and technology, which accounts for 11% of total employment in Northern Ireland*.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is organised by BT Ireland, Northern Ireland’s leading communications and networked IT service provider, and is supported by a number of valued partners including the Department of Education & Skills, Matrix NI, Analog Devices, Intel, and RTE. The 2015 exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from January 7th-10th and the closing date for entries is October 1st 2014. For more information on the exhibition and for details on how to enter, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com, follow the exhibition on Twitter @btyste or find it on Facebook www.facebook.com/BTYSTE
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Gina Kelly, PR, sponsorship & events manage, BT Ireland 003531 4325110 or 00353 86 7805451
Notes to Editor:
*Department of Employment and Learning: http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-del-260613-farry-opens-stem
**The STEM Academy at Queen’s University Belfast: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/STEM/STEM/what-is-stem/