Celebrating youth innovation at Catalyst Inc

Added Friday, March 9 2018

St Mary's Pupil's speaking to the audience

In support of the Year of Engineering, Catalyst Inc’s North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing (NWCAM) team held a STEM celebration event at the Catalyst Inc Innovation Centre in Derry~Londonderry on 27 February 2018. The event sought to showcase youth innovation and allowed industry leaders to witness the innovation of Northern Ireland’s young people.

Attending the event, Catalyst Inc Director of Development, Dr Joanne Stuart said:

“As a judge at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition each year I have seen first-hand the level of creativity and innovation amongst our young people. I welcome this event to showcase Northern Ireland’s participation in BTYSTE and to recognise the levels of invention and innovation displayed by the schools and pupils. The skills gained during the competition process such as problem solving, communication and leadership are so important to industry and will be increasingly important as automation starts to impact the careers of the future.”

Students from St Mary’s College, Oakgrove College and Loreto College showcased their BT Young Scientist innovations; ranging from the development and testing of an inexpensive wound dressing that detects infections through to reviewing transgender challenges at post-primary, and the phenomena of a water bridge.

Marie Lindsay, Principal of St Mary’s College commented:

“I am delighted that St Mary’s successfully participated in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition again this year, with a strong history of actively engaging in the competition the pupils have had excellent experiences. In January 2018 at RDS some pupils met the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and explained their projects to him, they gain confidence and the ability to communicate well with such a range of people from high profile government personnel to industry leaders that judge their entries. At St. Mary’s we recognise the importance of STEM interest and link to STEM related careers. We are pleased to be invited to show case the pupils’ projects at Catalyst Inc.”

Representatives from industry outlined how important competitions such as BT Young Scientist and programmes such as Catalyst Inc’s Generation Innovation programme are in developing transferrable skillsets amongst young people, to help them become the next generation of innovative leaders. The event also highlighted the importance of innovative approaches to problem solving using STEM based approaches.

Kayleigh Doherty, pupil of St Mary’s College who presented at the Catalyst Inc event commented:

"BT Young Scientist is a great event for young people, especially for girls to get involved in science and technology. It allows young people from all around Ireland to come together and make friends and share ideas both during the competition and the student nights. This year after competing for the last 5 years I was finally lucky enough to be given an award! Success!!!”   

Joanne Stuart (OBE) opening the STEM Event