Castletroy College

Behind the Scenes at the BT Young Scientist

17-January-24
Behind the Scenes at the BT Young Scientist

By Aimee Tobin, TY

Last week, two of our Transition Year students, Orlaith Lynch and Salva Rezaeizadeh, alongside one of our second year students, Jill Griffin, competed in the BT Young Scientist Competition. To get to the final round of the competition was a huge achievement, as two thousand two hundred projects applied for a place in the competition, but only five hundred and fifty were entered. To be part of it was an outstanding achievement ,however, our TY students went a few steps further, as Orlaith and Salva placed in the top six of their category earning themselves a highly commended award.

Getting to the final stage of the competition also gave the students an opportunity to meet with other budding young scientists, Irish politicians, celebrities and the many judges that spoke with them throughout the week.

The girls submitted their project proposals in September, and found out that they had gotten a place in October. This is when all of the hard work began. They had three months to complete their project.

Jill carried out a study on the effects of vaping, while the TY students project was titled “Investigating sensory factors to make our school more inclusive”.

Both projects were entered under the "health and wellness" category, where the standard was said to be extremely high.


The girls said that they enjoyed working on the projects, but it can easily get overwhelming if you don’t have a clear plan in place. They also revealed that they would love to enter again, but would prefer to have a product or design at the end of their project.


Orlaith and Salva said that they picked sensory issues as their topic because they had “family members with sensory issues and thought it was a topical issue that schools would benefit from focusing on". They conducted a survey and discovered that students were in favour of making the school more inclusive for students and staff in terms of sensory issues. The pair described it as a very rewarding experience and would recommend Transition Year students interested in STEAM to consider entering. They would also strongly encourage women to enter the competition and visit the exhibition. 65% of people who visited the exhibition identified as women and this is really positive.


I asked the pair to describe what a typical day looked like while they were at the exhibition and this is what they came back with:

Get up and ready, find somewhere for breakfast nearby the hotel or the RDS, and then:


● Get to the RDS by 9am, Check what time the judges will visit their stand that day
● Set up their stand e.g display project diary
● Speak to judges and exhibition visitors about their project
● Exhibition day ends at 5pm

There were some social events like table quizzes and karaoke held in the evenings for students, but sometimes it was difficult to have energy left for that after speaking about the projects all day! Overall, the girls said it was a very worthwhile experience, the work load is heavy, but being part of it is worth it. We are all so proud of them, well done girls.

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