BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp

Sisters Ciara and Saoirse Murphy were recently selected to participate in the annual BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp following their Overall Runner Up Group award at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in January. 30 students were selected from the 1,000 students across Ireland who qualified for the BTYSTE in January. As part of this bootcamp, the girls took part in workshops and presentations over the course of a week in the Nova Centre of Innovation in University College Dublin (UCD).

Sunday 3rd March

Ciara and Saoirse set off from Kerry filled with anticipation for the week that lay ahead. On arrival in

Dublin, the 30 students were brought together for dinner in the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan where they

got the opportunity to talk to one another and to settle into their surroundings.

Monday 4th March

Day 1 of the 16th BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp started early at 7am for breakfast in the

hotel followed by a short bus trip to the Nova Centre of Innovation in UCD. Students was escorted to

the main hall where the bootcamp presentations and workshops took place throughout the week.

The girls were next assigned to their bootcamp group. Six groups comprising of five students were

created. Five project titles from the BTYS Exhibition 2024 were selected for the groups to work with.

The goal was to improve the project and to tailor it to a business enterprise. Each team was assigned

a mentor from the BT staff. At the end of the bootcamp, each team would be required to present their project before a panel of adjudicators. After a long day everyone was treated to dinner at Eddie Rockets and then a much-needed sleep!

Tuesday 5th March

Once again, the girls made the short journey to UCD after a delicious breakfast at the hotel for

another jam-packed day of activities! After a recap of the previous day’s events, guest speakers

Martin Parsons and Annie Madden delivered informative presentations on patenting of

products, the process of generating innovative ideas and how to run a successful company

while balancing academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The group visited the

Explorium Science Museum with a guided tour from Mark Langtry (a.k.a. Mark the Science

Guy). This was undoubtably one of the highlights of the week as everyone had a great time

together exploring the museum and testing the activities on display.

Wednesday 6th March

Anticipation for Thursday’s pitch to the panel of judges was building. Each team was given

an opportunity to discuss their project. As well as this, expert sessions were held where each

team got the opportunity to speak to an expert in the project’s field. Ciara got to speak to an

Occupational Therapist and Saoirse met a PHD student working in the area of technology.

After a long day of discussions, the girls returned to their hotel for dinner with their mentors

followed by a much-enjoyed impromptu sing-along session!

Thursday 7th March

The day started with presentations from guest speakers. The teams next went their separate

ways to the conference room to finalise their presentations. Pizzas and treats were provided

for everyone while they waited to be called. Undoubtedly, this helped minimise the tension!

The panel of judges consisted of Mr. Tony Scott (co-founder of the Young Scientist

Exhibition), Mr. Shay Walsh (Managing Director of BT Ireland), Mr. Brian O’Donovan (RTÉ

Presenter), Ms. Caroline Gill (Innovation Education Manager, UCD) and Mr. John Loftus (BT).

The 10-minute presentation was followed by a Question’s and Answer’s session where the

judges further interrogated the team. A truly amazing experience.

The week was truly exceptional, brimming with a perfect blend of learning, cherished

memories and fun that will be etched into the minds of Ciara and Saoirse forever. Whether

delving into new ideas, exploring unfamiliar theories, every moment was imbued with a

sense of wonder and enjoyment.

As they reflect on this exceptional week, the girls are filled with gratitude for the moments that brought them new friends and lessons.

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