BT has announced that, in light of continued health and safety concerns around Covid19, the company will be transforming the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) into a spectacular virtual showcase for January 2021. 

Students from across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to get involved in the upcoming Exhibition, to compete in what has become Europe’s longest running science Exhibition.

Taking place from Wednesday January 6 to Friday 8 2021, the Exhibition will go ahead in an exciting new format, which means that students will now be exhibiting virtually, with judging taking place across digital platforms.

Northern Ireland students are being encouraged to start working on their projects now, ahead of the closing date of September 22, to qualify for the final 550 places at the Exhibition in January.

The online entry process remains the same as previous years, with the added bonus that it will be free to all as project entry fees have been waived.

To enter, an individual or group must submit a one-page proposal outlining their project idea. Entries can be made in any one of four categories: technology; social and behavioural science; biological and ecological science and chemical, physical and mathematical science.

Paul Murnaghan, Regional Director for BT’s Enterprise division in Northern Ireland, said: “With the unprecedented global events of the past few months, we have seen first-hand the important role that science and technology is playing in finding solutions to this global pandemic.

“As a technology company that is leading the way in helping our customers to adapt and digitally transform, we knew that we had the opportunity to do the same with the BTYSTE to ensure that such an important exhibition remained firmly on the educational calendar.

“The virtual event gives all schools in Northern Ireland the opportunity to become involved in something truly special without any barriers of distance or cost, so I would encourage every student, teacher and school to get working on your entries.”

Benjamin Gibson and Jamal Donald from South Eastern Regional College, winners of last year’s Best Northern Ireland project at the 2020 exhibition, added: “Taking part in the BTYSTE was a fantastic experience for us. Not only did it help us to develop knowledge of our chosen subject area but it also gave us the self-belief and determination to know that you can achieve great things if you put your mind to it.

“We would encourage everyone to consider taking part in the upcoming Exhibition.  Not only is it great fun but it has helped us to develop so many transferable skills that we have been able to put into practice in both our academic and personal lives.”

BTYSTE is part of the Skills for Tomorrow programme of activities, designed by BT to empower 10 million people with the skills that they need to flourish in the digital world. The company also delivers Barefoot and Work Ready programmes, tailored for young people to help them to develop digital skills at home, in school and at work.

More details about the format of the BTYSTE virtual exhibition will be revealed over the coming weeks. Students and teachers are encouraged to keep an eye on the BTYSTE website and social media channels for exciting updates.

Entries can now be submitted online at

Picture shows: (L-R) Winners of the Best BT Northern Ireland Project at the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Benjamin Gibson and Jamal Donald from South Eastern Regional College, Antrim. Benjamin and Jamal were chosen as winners for their entry ‘”The Effect of Cigarette Smoke Extract on the Inflammatory Response in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells”.


Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan


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