Ballyclare pupils get scientific

EDUCATION Minister John O’Dowd has congratulated pupils from Ballyclare High on taking part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology awards.

The minister hosted a reception for all the students who entered the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2013.

He said: “The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is one of the largest and longest running of its kind in Europe. Now in its 49th year the exhibition continues to grow in popularity, attracting 1879 entries this year.

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“I had the good fortune to visit the exhibition last year and spoke with the young people and teachers involved in bringing these exciting projects to fruition. I really appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into the exhibition and I commend everyone involved for their innovation and dedication.”

He added: “Every entry to the exhibition deserves credit and recognition. Students here are clearly extremely talented people and I believe that talent and dedication deserves to be recognised.

“In recent years there has been an upturn in pupils choosing to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and this is significant in today’s environment and can help play a role on improving our society and economy.

“Those students can help create a workforce that can fill the skills gap in our society and help drive the economy in the right direction.”

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In conclusion the Minster congratulated pupils and teachers for the time and effort spent in putting together their entries.

He said: “The level of inspiration shown through your entries to this competition will hopefully stay with you into and throughout your working lives and help build the skills needed for your future careers.

“I would like to thank the participating schools, teachers and students for the commitment and professionalism shown again this year. I look forward to attending the finals in January and wish all the finalists the best of luck for the event.”

Peter Morris, director of corporate services at BT said: “The increased popularity of the exhibition reflects the growing importance of science, technology, engineering and maths in today’s world.”