John O’Halloran, Professor of Zoology University College Cork, gives his account of the judging process

Posted: January 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have always had a great interest in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition so I was delighted and honoured when I was invited to become a judge. Needless to say I accepted the invitation and this is now my eighth year as a judge with the exhibition and I must admit I am hooked!

When I cast my mind back to my early memories of judging what sticks out is how strange it felt to be speaking to these young scientists as if they were adults and how intimidating it was for both parties. The process has gotten easier with each year but the importance of this exhibition to the lives of the students means being a judge is a great responsibility.

I take my duty as a judge very seriously and examine all the elements of the projects, in particular the rigour of the science, the research question being asked and the amount of work done including the design and the analysis. Listening to the students’ explanation of the projects is a joy and the energy and enthusiasm with which they present their work is a real highlight.

This exhibition is a celebration of science and technology, providing young people with a fantastic opportunity to investigate the world around them and to show others these are not dry and boring subjects but rather, they are interesting and fun. The skills learnt by students during the exhibition will be beneficial in later life as science and technology will play an extremely important role in our economic future.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition gets bigger and better every year I hope it keeps growing and more young people become involved.

I look forward to the winner being announced and then doing it all again next year.

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