Friday, December 2, 2011

Primary School Science Contest Launched

Primary school students from all over Ireland are being asked to get their scientific thinking caps on and investigate the wonders of science and maths to win some great prizes.

Organisers are looking for pupils from 3rd class upwards to demonstrate the everyday value of understanding science and maths through project work and learning based on the science curriculum, with pupils choosing to design a project from one of four categories; living things, materials, energy and forces or environmental awareness and care.

The competition is sponsored by telecommunications giant Ericsson in association with development agency Atlantic Corridor.

Schools must register their interest in the competition between now and December 23rd. All entries received between now and then will go into a draw for a laptop computer for their schools. Final competition winners in each category will receive a prize of €2,000 with additional prizes for runners up. There are three categories for schools to enter, with 3rd and 4th Class being paired together as well as a separate competition for 5th and 6th Class pupils. There is also a category for Special Needs schools.

Micahel Gallagher, MD of Ericsson in Ireland said his company was delighted to sponsor the competition. "In Ericsson, we are committed to Ireland in the long-term and  as a technology leader  we  feel it appropriate to also help plant  some of the  seeds of the future of our knowledge economy. Given the wonderful experiences from the first competition, I’m very hopeful that this competition will give many young students a taste of the enjoyment and sense of achievement to be had in the world of science and engineering. I am also hopeful that many of them will want to pursue these interests in science and technology further with Ericsson some day in the future. A vibrant and sustainable knowledge economy will benefit all."

Atlantic Corridor, through its international links and partnerships with national agencies like Discover Science and Engineering, has developed a strong suite of programmes and initiatives to promote STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths education.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Atlantic Corridor said “The competition is a wonderful opportunity for primary schools and we are pleased to be running this event in association with our 2012 STEM Conference and a number of other initiatives over the coming months, with which we plan to make a positive and meaningful  impact in science and technology education. It is wonderful to be working again with Ericsson, who have played such a key role in developing the knowledge economy in Ireland. We share a common objective in our work which is to generate greater interest in STEM subjects and skills, which are vital for Ireland in seeking to compete internationally for investment, growth and innovation. The closing date for registration of interest is December 23rd 2011 and 6 regional finals will be held across the country in the month of February 2012, with the national final in Athlone in March. We look forward to the competition and we encourage as many students and teachers as possible to engage in this exciting opportunity. ”

Further details on the Science Competition, the 2012 Atlantic Conference and a range of other initiatives promoting STEM can be found on

Image: Katie McGrath, St. Peter's National School, Athlone with Michael Gallagher, Managing Director of Ericsson in Ireland,  launching the Ericsson National School Primary Science Competition in association with development agency Atlantic Corridor.


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