FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND – the Helix at Dublin City University, students from across Ireland took part in the Intel Mini Scientist Grand Final, an event which is the culmination of a nationwide competition which began in September 2017.
The Intel Mini Scientist, which is now in its 11th year, gives primary school students from 4th, 5th and 6th class, the chance to explore science through project based learning and exhibitions.
The first phase of the program involves students participating at local level exhibitions where Intel judges visit the participating schools, choosing two winning projects in each. The second phase saw each of these winning projects take part in the Mini Scientist Regional Finals which were hosted throughout December in Dublin, Shannon and Cork.
The 2017 / 2018 initiative was another exciting year for the Mini Scientist competition with almost 8,000 students from 135 schools in 18 counties of Ireland taking part. This year there were nearly 3,000 projects exhibited as part of the Mini Scientist competition and the Grand Final brought together the top 28 projects from across the country.
At the Grand Final, held in the Helix at Dublin City University, the participants exhibited their projects for a panel of judges, made up from Intel employees and external representatives from across industry and academia, who had the difficult task of choosing the winning projects. Each of the projects included visual displays, projects books and practical experiments based on a scientific area aligned with the national primary science curriculum. Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Education and Skills presented the prizes to the winning projects at the Grand Final.
The Grand Final was filled with innovative and imaginative projects, put together through months of hard work and the judges, after a very difficult task of deliberation selected their winning projects;
Grand Final Overall Winner
RoboBall – Humans v Computer; Scoil Ide, Corbally Co. Limerick
Conor Mulcahy, Cian Mulcahy, Ben Sheehan and Eva Donnelly
Rough sleep – Not anymore; Barefield National School, Ennis, Co. Clare
The Ultrasonic Hat; Belmayne Educate Together NS Dublin 13
A way with the wind; Scoil Mhuire, Fatima, Timahoe Co. Laois
The Automatic washing line; Scoil Phádraig Boys National School, Clane Co. Kildare
Road Alert; Wicklow Montessori Primary School, Co. Wicklow
Additional special prizes were awarded as follows:
- Best Communications award – The power of Tsunamis; CBS, Ennis Co. Clare
- Best Project book – Ecological Roulette; Gorey Educate Together, Co. Wexford
- Best Visual Display – DNA, Answers in our genes; Kildalkey National School, Co. Meath
- Most Innovative Idea – Digital Step Chart; St. Joseph’s National School, Kilcock Co. Kildare
As part of the prize for the overall winning project, RoboBall – Humans v Computer; Scoil Ide, Corbally Co. Limerick, receives a grant of €1000 from Intel.
Minister Bruton who presented the children with their awards remarked on the value of the program; “It’s fantastic to see such energy and passion for the STEM subjects from the over 8,000 students who participated in the Intel Mini Scientists competition. We are living in a world that is being transformed by digital technology and it’s crucial that our education system responds. Competitions like these are so important because what we see is that the young people who participate in initiatives like this- Scifest, the Young Scientist Competition and Coder Dojo are more likely to go on and have a career in the areas that will help us solve the problems of the modern world. I’d like to congratulate all the students, teachers and of course parents who worked on all the projects who partook in the program.”
Vice President of New Technology Group, Intel Noel Murphy was also on hand to present awards to the participating students and added, “What we at Intel love about this competition is you start with your own class, your own teacher, your friends. That’s really science, working with your friends, looking at the world around you and trying to understand a little more about how that world works.”
The event was held for the second time this year in the Helix at Dublin City University. In 2016, Intel and DCU signed an agreement which will see the two organisations collaborate on talent development and on technologies that have the potential to transform how we live, learn, work and engage with the arts in the future. DCU President Professor Brian MacCraith also attended the Mini Scientist final and added “As president of DCU, and a scientist myself, I was delighted to see so many young scientists here at DCU this morning, congratulations to you, your parents and your teachers.”
For more information about the grand final event or to sign your school up for the Mini Scientist competition visit www.intel.ie/miniscientist.
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