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Guest blogger: a teacher’s view January 19, 2011

Posted by pollicia in Uncategorized.

During this year’s exhibition I had the pleasure of chatting with some teachers. I must confess that I probably hadn’t talked to a teacher since my school years and it was really inspiring to hear their views and see their dedication. I am very grateful that Mr Anthony Carolan, Physics and Maths teacher from Sligo, agreed to share his views with us. In this short video interview and blog post, Mr Carolan talks about his students’ projects, the BT Young Scientist experience and the important role an event such as this can play for a student’s future.

Blog post by Mr Anthony Carolan, Physics and Maths teacher, Sligo

“Well, another BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition has drawn to a close. I have just returned home after spending the last week with my 11 students and it is safe to say, they have had an experience they will fondly remember. All through the journey back to Sligo, there were stories being exchanged, jokes shared and the dawning that the experience had now passed. But mixed in with this reminiscing was a strong desire to now begin planning the next project.

This has been a recurring theme in my 5 years mentoring and attending this exhibition. First comes the idea, then the planning, then the panic to finish and perfect, followed by the excitement before going. Then it is a whirlwind 4 days of meeting new people, talking passionately about their interests and work, fine tuning their presentation skills and sharing their anxiety pre-judging.

The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a unique event in the calendar where learning, fun and social interaction all congregate to create an atmosphere like no other. Apart from displaying your own hard work, you also pick up new ideas, meet like minded people and develop important professional project skills. My students have loved every minute of it and are already 1 day into next year’s project. That, to me is the best testimonial of the event. The students can’t wait to attend and don’t want it to end but in between they will put their heart and soul into developing the best project they can.

In addition to all of this professional and social development, there is also the highly important nature of what the future holds for these students. The pursuit of science and maths can only lead to success. Add into this the ability to prepare a project, research new data and present it to strangers and you have the makings of an intelligent and adaptable workforce. IBM knows this more than anyone. The sheer breadth of the company and its different career profiles shows that a life working in science in technology never gets boring and you end up working at something you love.

That is exactly what I observe every year with my students. They don’t mind the long hours pre-competition because they enjoy what they are doing, who they are working with and what they are achieving. It gives them a taste of the sort of life they want to keep going back to year after year.

So farewell to BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2011; but don’t worry; we will all be aiming to be back in just short of a year, again!!”



1. bodonovan - January 19, 2011

Thanks for sharing your experiences. It sounds like your students are very lucky to have a teacher like you.

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