Awareness of biodiversity
Status of biodiversity
Threats to biodiversity
Measures that safeguard biodiversity
Measures that mainstream biodiversity
Benefits derived from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Impacts on biodiversity outside of Ireland
Knowledge of Irish biodiversity
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In 1963 two UCD physics researchers, Rev. Dr. Tom Burke and Dr. Tony Scott, came across the concept of 'Science Fairs'’ while conducting research in New Mexico, America. These local school science exhibitions culminated in State Fairs and ultimately a national competition. The pair decided that this type of hands-on science was something that Irish secondary-level students could benefit from, by taking science outside the four walls of the classroom and showing that it is all around.
And so the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition was born. The first competition was held in 1965 in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin and attracted 230 entries. In recent years the number of entries has increased dramatically, reaching an all-time high in 2015 when 2077 projects were submitted.
All entries are screened to select just over 550 projects that go through to compete in the RDS. Therefore, this metric is based on the number of applications, rather than on those successfully qualifying within the Biological and Ecological Sciences category, as it better reflects the level of interest and engagement in the functioning of the natural world.
More information on the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition can be found here:
An annual competition that brings in applications from secondary level students from around the country, the Biological and Ecological Sciences category of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition focuses on aspects of animal, human, microbial or plant biology, including ecology and environmental science. While the category itself may be broader than biodiversity, it shows an interest in the natural world and how it works. The indicator is number of entries irrespective of qualification, since it is presumed that there is a fixed limit to the number of applications that reach the final stages of the competition.