Northern Ireland schools receive grant scheme boost to participate in the 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition

(Belfast, Friday, 8th August): BT has today reinforced its commitment to support schools across the island of Ireland to enter the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition with a £62,500 accommodation grant. In a further boost for Northern Ireland schools, the Department of Education NI has committed an additional 50% funding for all NI schools who participate in the exhibition.

Education Minister John O’Dowd, MLA said, “I am delighted to increase my Department’s contribution to this prestigious event this year. Events of this nature play an important role in encouraging our young people to study STEM subjects and pursue a STEM career thereby growing an innovative and prosperous economy. This increased funding will assist schools with the costs associated with participating in the finals in Dublin in January 2015. I would strongly urge all schools to consider entering this exciting competition and wish everyone success with their projects.”

Colm O’ Neill, CEO, BT Northern Ireland, said, “We understand that school budgets are under pressure and I would like to thank the Minister and his Department for the generous top up funding which will be added to the significant funding that BT already commits to schools under the grant scheme.

We hope that it will encourage even more students from Northern Ireland to take part in the upcoming BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and give them that added incentive to get involved. Every year we are blown away by the wealth of highly skilled and talented NI students that participate in the exhibition and I hope to see as many of them as possible enter a project for our 2015 event.”

Speaking about the grant scheme Science teacher Maurice Collins from St Fanchea’s College, Co. Fermanagh, said, “We know from our own experience last year that the BT grant helped alleviate financial pressure particularly at a time when budgets are being increasingly stretched. Through the BT Travel and Accommodation Grant Scheme we had the opportunity to exhibit at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in January and once again we are really looking forward to entering the competition this year and already have our thinking caps on to come up with even better creative ideas.”

All Northern Ireland schools who participate in the exhibition are now eligible to apply for a maximum grant of £2,050 per school, increased from £1,350 per school in 2014.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is organised by BT, one of the world’s leading communications and IT services companies. The exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from 7th – 10th January 2015 and the closing date for entries is 1st October 2014.

For more information on the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, visit www.btyoungscientist.com, check out http://www.facebook.com/BTYSTE, follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/btyste.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Louise Carson or Katrina Frazer at Aiken PR, 02890 663000 or firstname@aikenpr.com
Gina Kelly, PR, sponsorship & events manager, BT Ireland 003531 4325110 or 00353 86 7805451

Notes to Editor:

St Fanchea’s College
Anna Kellagher and Kaylee Conlin from St Fanchea’s College received 2nd - Junior Group and the Display Award for their project ‘Investigating the level and nature of radioactive emissions from soil samples’ which was entered into the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category.

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