Programming, athletic gear and more: Dublin’s winners at BTYST

by Gazette Reporter

Dublin students were recognised and commended at the first ever virtual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2021 Awards Ceremony. 

In all total of 41 awards were presented to Dublin students last week for their impressive projects entered in the 57th annual competition.

Covid-19 featured as a prominent theme across many projects, as did sustainability and the climate crisis. Other teen scientists explored the impact of push notifications and social media apps including TikTok.

Dublin student Ayush Tambde, from Stratford College, created a higher-level programming language for quantum computers.

Transition year students Chiara Lisa Carra and Elysia O’Leary, from Nord Anglia International School in Dublin, created agile and light protective gear for athletes using materials science by impregnating fabrics with thickening fluids.

The overall winner was named as Gregory Tarr, 17, a sixth year student at Bandon Grammar School in Co Cork. He took home the top prize of €7,500 and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy for his project which uses AI software to detect DeepFake media with state-of-the-art accuracy. 

The software, which is over 150,000 lines of code, made significant improvements on speed and efficiency when compared to the current best model without sacrificing its ability to accurately detect the fake. 

Chair of the Technology judging panel, Leonard Hobbs, said: “The winner this year demonstrated an expertise in computer science which was well beyond his years.

“The level of coding he deployed in developing the extremely complex program which detects fake videos, was guided by his deep understanding of this leading-edge technology.”

Education Minister Norma Foley congratulated all who took part, adding: “It is encouraging to witness the level of creativity and innovation of the students as demonstrated through their meticulously researched and ingenious projects. 

“Each student is a credit to themselves, their families, schools, communities, and every one of them should be proud of their accomplishments.”

“I would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved in ensuring the first ever virtual BTYSTE was an incredible success; the organisers, the judges, the dedicated teachers; and of course, the parents, guardians and families whose support is absolutely key to this unique and important event.”

The exhibition is credited with showcasing young Irish talent across the globe. This year visitors from 77 countries viewed the projects displayed on the online portal.

Free public access to the BTYSTE 2021 portal content has been extended until the end of January: https://portal.btyoungscientist.com/

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