Want to know what exciting technology will break through this year? We’ve just returned from the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition where we have seen mind-blowing inventions and projects from some of Ireland’s brightest science students. We would like to commend everyone who showcased projects – the standard of work was outstanding.

We would also like to congratulate all of the category winners and in particular Shane Curran from Terenure College in Dublin who was nominated as the overall winner for qCrypt: a quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology. With such impressive talent coming through, the future is looking bright for Irish innovation.

Photo Credit: BT Young Scientist

We even had a chance to see a line-up of excellent (and very famous) guest speakers such as Rio Ferdinand!

Non-stop model building for three days

The Arckit stand was packed every day. Hundreds of talented students from across Ireland came to see new Arckit range. There was literally a queue to have a go at our ‘maker’ tables, where budding architects were making amazing freeform structures from scratch. We were fortunate enough to see some incredibly imaginative models built with impressive speed from students with no prior experience with Arckit.

This was the first time we had the opportunity to meet so many makers between the ages of 12-16. Model building was second nature to most of the kids we met, who were all creating solid designs that rivalled some of the work we have seen from older architecture students. They grasped the ‘click and connect’ concept immediately and naturally took advantage of Arckit’s freestyle ability to create both abstract and quality architecturally designed structures.

Tirana Collins and Asa Curran from Schull Community College, Cork, Ireland.

Did you see our Brown Thomas model?

In case you missed it, we also showcased our model of the Brown Thomas department store in Dublin. This is a bespoke Arckit model that we created for a display in the luxury store’s exclusive Marvel Room over Christmas. What makes this architectural model special is that we built it using standard Arckit components alongside one-off components from our Arckit Infiniti 3D print store. Take a closer look and you’ll notice that we 3D-printed the store sign above the front doors together with the ornate windows and reveals.

For us, 3D printing is becoming an increasingly important element of model making which we are very excited about. Arckit Infiniti 3D, our online print store, will soon be opening up new possibilities within the industry in ways that were previously impossible. These add-on components are compatible with the Arckit system to make it even easier for designers to build and modify precision architectural models without compromising their original idea – now they can literally imagine it and build it.

What do teachers say about Arckit?

We also had numerous discussions with teachers who are looking for ways to bring STEM/STEAM learning to life in the classroom.

It was exciting to finally show real examples from our Arckit Education Programme. Designed in collaboration with teachers in the UK and senior professors in the US, we’re now introducing hands-on architecture courses into schools and universities to make Arckit a fundamental building block within education.

The feedback from both teachers and students was extremely positive. There was overwhelming interest in how Arckit is opening up the world of architecture in ways that were previously unthinkable. We’re constantly evolving our range of courses and will soon be launching a series of mini design challenges for budding architects to test their design skills at home!

Future shows…

If you missed BT Young Scientist this year, there is still a chance to see Arckit in action. We’re currently building up to the Bett Show at ExCeL London (25–28 January), then on to Didacta international trade fair in Germany (14–18 February), before attending The Big Bang Fair in March. We hope to see you there!