BT Young Scientists crown is coming back to Leeside; Students discover gender stereotyping in young kids

BT Young Scientists crown is coming back to Leeside; Students discover gender stereotyping in young kids
The winners of the 56th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) Overall Award went to Alan O'Sullivan and Cormac Harris, both aged 16, fourth year students from Colaiste Choilm, Cork.

CORK students have again scooped the overall prize at the BT Young Scientists competition. 

Sixteen-year-olds Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, 4th-year students from Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig,  took home the top prize for their project entitled “a statistical investigation into the prevalence of gender stereotyping in 5 to 7-year-olds and the development of an initiative to combat gender bias”.

The students take home the trophy as well as a top prize of €7,500.

Head judge Joe Barry said: “The aim of Cormac and Alan’s project was to determine how early gender stereotyping can be identified,” he said.

“They conducted workshops with 376 5-7-year-olds from a range of school settings with a number of different tasks including choosing between gender-specific and gender-neutral toys; drawing and naming an engineer, and; rating male and female competency at a number of gender-specific roles.”

Their research found that 96% of boys drew a male engineer while just over 50% of girls drew a female engineer. 

Mr Barry added: “The project is particularly impressive in that Cormac and Alan also created very pertinent and useable resources for primary school teachers to combat gender stereotyping among young children.” 

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