Sunday, April 3, 2011

SciFest 2011 - let the games begin

This week I'll be acting as a judge for SciFest 2011 at Cork Institute of Technology.

SciFest is an "all inclusive science fair, with no entry limits and a key aim to encourage school kids of all levels of scientific ability to enter".

It is a series of one-day festivals of science hosted by Institutes of Technology (ITs) around the country and really acts to encourage a love of science through enquiry-based learning and to provide a forum for students at local/regional level to present and display their scientific investigations.

This year, the first SciFest events will take place at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) on Tuesday April 5th; in Waterford IT on Thursday April 7th and in Cork on Friday 8th April.

The event then moves across the country until the end of May. For the full list of locations and dates see here.

Last year, a total of 2649 students exhibited 1097 projects across the country including such projects as 'Rushes as an Insulator', 'Is school deafening us?' and 'Searching for the progenitor stars of gamma ray bursts'.

One hundred and ninety-six schools took part with the help of 291 committed teachers in 28 counties. Fifty-six per cent of the students who took part were female and 55% of the projects were from the life sciences. Nine per cent of the projects were in the 'technology' category and 36% came from the physical sciences.

SciFest was launched as a nationwide event in 2008 and since then, 6241 students have exhibited a total of 2613 projects. Clearly SciFest is going from strength to strength.

At the launch of SciFest 2011, then Minister with responsibility for science Conor Lenihan praised the event as a great example of government, industry and education sectors partnering to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM):

"By clearly illustrating the links between what students learn in the classroom, the opportunities at third level and potential career paths, SciFest plays a valuable role in helping to encourage young people to pursue opportunities in the Smart Economy", said Lenihan.

I'm really looking forward to judging at Friday's event. Having spent lots of last month being judged by students as part of I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here, it will make a nice change to be the one doing the judging!

This will be my second year judging and I was really impressed at the enthusiasm and hard-work shown by all participants last year. Fingers crossed for another great SciFest and best of luck to all those taking part around the country.


  © Communicate Science; Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2012

Back to TOP