550 projects have made it through to the finals, with the exhibition being held in the RDS
The 2017 BT Young Scientist Exhibition gets underway in Dublin later today.
The competition sees teenagers from across Ireland compete across a variety of scientific and mathematical fields.
550 projects have made it through to the finals, and the winning projects will go on to represent Ireland at European level.
More than 40,000 people are expected to attend the exhibition over the coming days, with winners to be announced at a ceremony on Friday evening.
President Higgins will officially open the RDS exhibition this afternoon, with a number of TDs and ministers also due to attend today.
The hall will be open to school groups and the general public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
This year the majority of competitors are young women.
Managing Director of BT Ireland, Shay Walsh, is hopeful that trend will lead to greater gender balance across the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industry.
"61% of the participants are female," he observed. "Unfortunately that drops away when they get into the third level science subjects, and we see a drop-off particularly in areas like physics.
"I think encouraging a better diversity, and encouraging our females to continue in science subjects would be an important output."