SciFest opens entries for 2019

SciFest 2019
Jessica White (12) from Donahies Community school

Second-level STEM competition goes in search of ideas

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8 February 2019 | 0

SciFest, the largest and most inclusive second-level STEM fair initiative on the island of Ireland, has opened to entries to its 2019 competition.

In SciFest, second-level students showcase STEM projects at a series of one-day science fairs held locally in schools and regionally at 16 venues in the Institutes of Technology, TU Dublin, DCU and St Mary’s College, Derry.

The winners from each regional STEM fair will go on to compete at a national final in November 2019. The winner(s) of the SciFest National Final 2019 will be presented with a trophy and will represent Ireland at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2020 in Anaheim, California.

Last year’s overall national final winner was Adam Kelly, from Skerries Community College, will represent Ireland at the Intel ISEF in Phoenix, Arizona later this year.

SciFest 2019 will also mark the second year of the Broadcom Masters Award. This award, saw five junior cycle students, ranging in age from 12 to 14, compete at the 2018 national final for the opportunity to participate in the Broadcom Masters International Programme which includes attendance at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair later this year.

The inaugural award was won by Eabha Kenny, from Scoil Muire gan Smál, Convent of Mercy, Roscommon Town, Roscommon. Eabha will be one of 28 delegates representing 25 countries.

“SciFest has now been running for 11 years and 2019 will mark our 12th year of the competition,” said Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO. “I couldn’t be happier at what the competition has become and just how many second-level students are now showcasing their interest in STEM. Last year over 10,000 students participated across the country and I look forward to seeing how much the competition grows this year.”

Margie McCarthy, interim director, innovation & education directorate, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “SciFest is a terrific initiative that enables over 10,000 school students to grow their knowledge and passion for STEM. Science Foundation Ireland are delighted to support this nationwide initiative since its inception through our SFI Discover Programme, which is working to make science accessible to all and highlights the importance of scientific inquiry. We are delighted to see SciFest grow year on year and hope that 2019 is another hugely successful year for them.”

Since launching in 2008, more than 60,000 students have participated in the competition, which represents an average year on year increase of 23% in participation. SciFest is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Boston Scientific, Intel Ireland and Specsavers.

Entries can be made through the SciFest website. Completed entries must be submitted by 8 March 2019.

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