TV star and mentalist, David Meade, recently joined students at Fort Hill College in Lisburn to promote the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), which will take place from 9 – 12 January 2019 at the RDS in Dublin.
David Meade, who is an official ambassador for BTYSTE, is calling on Northern Ireland secondary school students to take part in the Exhibition and start developing their ideas for an award-winning STEM project (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
He said: “This is my fourth year supporting the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting event once again. I’m passionate about anything that inspires young people and encourages students to challenge themselves and to explore new ideas and this exhibition allows them to do just that.
“BTYSTE is the perfect place for students to push the boundaries and use their imagination and it can also be the starting point of a bright future for many young people seeking careers in STEM. I would strongly encourage young people from across Northern Ireland to get thinking about possible projects now and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”
To mark the announcement of the dates for the January exhibition, BT commissioned a survey* of 300 workers in Belfast to identify current sentiment and attitudes towards sectors of employment. The research revealed that 61% of STEM employees in Belfast were either satisfied or highly satisfied in their job. Further positive results for the STEM sector showed that nearly 70% of respondents said they were inspired by their work and a quarter expected a salary increase of 10-20% in the coming few years. In addition, 50% of STEM employees found that the work they are doing is ‘pioneering innovation’. This is in stark contrast to the Humanities sector where only 18% found their work to be pioneering and 3% of those in Health and Education.
However, the research also revealed that only 2% of those working in STEM roles had completed an apprenticeship or internship to get into their current role in comparison to other industries such as Finance where 31% had entered the workplace in this way. With demand for STEM employees on the increase, the findings indicate more entry level opportunities are needed to increase the pipeline of people training to work in the STEM industry.
Garret Kavanagh, Acting Managing Director of Networks for BT in Northern Ireland, said: “As a leading technology company, we are proud to organise and sponsor this world-renowned exhibition, which allows young people to explore the world of STEM.
“Our survey results show that, for many people, a career in STEM can be very rewarding, with employees experiencing job satisfaction and feeling inspired by their work.
“The theme for BTYSTE 2019 is ‘It Starts Here’. We’re promoting our home grown talent and want this to be the starting point of a new journey and a fulfilling career in STEM.
“It really is a place where they can explore new concepts, develop their interest in STEM and demonstrate creativity. We are keen to see more students from Northern Ireland enter this year so they can showcase their talent.”
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition recently announced that it has teamed up with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). BTYSTE participants are now able to use their project work to count towards the Skills section of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2019 will take place from 9 – 12 January and the deadline to apply is 25 September 2018. For more information, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com or follow @BTYSTE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. You can also call 0800 917 1297.