A young scientist answers one of life's big questions: Which biscuit is best for dunking?

We go inside the 53rd BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is in its 53rd year. More than 4,500 students are taking part, with some 550 projects on display. I went along to the RDS yesterday afternoon to discover some of the brilliant ideas on display.

I went down at around 2pm yesterday afternoon and the place was buzzing. Secondary school children from all around the country were there – either exhibiting their projects or walking around viewing what others had done. I say this every year, but the atmosphere down at the BT Young Scientist Exhbition is among the most electric you can experience – and if you’re looking for our best and brightest down the tracks, that’s where they can be found!

As always, there was a mix of all kinds of everything on display at the event. Many of the participants use their projects to investigate some of life's big questions, such as: what is the best biscuit for dunking.

This was the focus of a project by Ann from St Mary's College in LondonDerry. 

"My project is about dunking biscuits! I wanted to see what biscuit lasts the longest. I found that the Rich Tea lasted the longest because it's a lot plainer than the others. It has a lot less sugar and fat than the others, such as the Digestive or the Hobnob." 

You live and learn!

As I navitaged my way through the very busy aisles, once project caught my eye straight away. I went up to chat to Caolan Maguire and Shane Gilbride who are 4th year students at Beachhill in Monaghan, and they told me about their project:

"The name of our project is 'A small inexpensive device to help the elderly and people with Alzheimer's' and the idea came after my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago," explains Maguire. "She was looking for a device that would help her to use appliances in her house and a device that could track where she was going."

After looking around at the various options on offer, the Maguire family found there was nothing to meet their needs and so Caolan started to build his own solution.   

"We designed two mobile apps. One connects to a hub that can turn lights, heaters or the radio on and off. Basically anything with a plug or electrical source. We have temperature monitors to monitor the temperature of rooms. If the heat in a room gets too low, we can turn it on wirelessly, you don't even have to touch it."

The second app, built and designed by Caolon uses GPS, so the family members of the person with Alzheimer's always knows where they are. 

This project caused less than €100 to put together and the boys have already had some interest from the likes of Google.