FRIDAY, JANUARY 23rd – Today at the Science Gallery, Dublin, students from across Ireland took part in the Intel Mini Scientist Grand Final, an event which is the culmination of the nationwide competition which has been running since September.
The Intel Mini Scientist, which is now in its 8th 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 Leixlip, Shannon and Cork.
The 2014 / 2015 initiative was the biggest year yet for the Mini Scientist competition with more than 5,500 students from 92 schools in 13 counties of Ireland taking part and the Grand Final event brought together the top 19 projects from across the country with almost 60 students participating in the competitions final round.
At the Grand Final, which was held in the Science Gallery in Dublin, the participants exhibited their projects for a panel of judges, which was made up from Intel employees, who had the difficult task of choosing the winning projects from the very creative variety. Each of the projects included visual displays, projects books and practical experiments based on a scientific area aligned with the national primary science curriculum. The Grand Final was attended by Damien English, Minister of State at the Departments of Education and Skills & the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation who had the opportunity to visit each of the participant projects before helping to award the prizes to winning projects.
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
• Timahoe National School, Co. Laois – “What Lurks Within”
• St. Patrick’s Diswelltown, Co. Dublin – “Polymers Everywhere”
• Newtown NS, Co. Meath – “How to fight Kid’s Obesity”
• Scoil Aine Naofa, Lucan Co. Dublin – “Lucozade Vs Water”
Additional special prizes were awarded as follows:
• Best Communications award
Christ the King GNS, Cabra Co. Dublin – “Mini Weapons”
• Best Project book
St. Mary’s School, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary – “Exploring Acids”
• Best Visual Display
St. Peter’s National School, Bray Co. Wicklow – “MakeyMakey Mat”
• Most Innovative Idea
St. Laurence’s National School, Co. Kildare “Aquaponics”
4th class students Jamie Boyle and Róisín Dunne, who are both aged 10, were behind the winning project – What Lurks Within – which involved an investigation to discover if there are dangerous bacteria contained within a mascara tube and how such bacteria can affect a user’s eye. The girls conducted experiments to examine the bacterial impact and then conducted a social aspect of their project in which they sought to change behaviors to eliminate the use of contaminated tubes. As part of the prize for the overall winning project, Timahoe N.S. receives a grant of €1000 from Intel.
Sarah Sexton, Head of STEM Programs at Intel Ireland, was delighted with the success of this year’s Mini Scientist Grand Final, “The projects on display here today are all winners in their own right and are a showcase of the months of hard work by thousands of young people across Ireland. Each student competing is a fantastic role model of innovation and creativity and has done a remarkable job in communicating their work. Intel is very proud to be at the heart of the Mini Scientist program and we look forward to seeing all that will be made possible by these young people in the future”.
Minister English also remarked on the achievements of those taking part “It is a real privilege to see all of the wonderful science projects on display here today and to marvel at the students’ exceptional talent, creativity and capacity for hard work. Participation in events such as the Mini Scientist ensures that learning does not end at the classroom door. It makes the STEM subjects more relevant – encouraging students to develop new ways of thinking and learning. This fair promotes a positive attitude to science, mathematics and technology and is closely aligned with Government educational and economic policy. In order to build an innovative, knowledge-based economy that will provide sustainable employment opportunities and an informed citizenship it is vital that young people are encouraged to pursue the STEM subjects in primary, post-primary and third level education.”
For more information about the grand final event or the Mini Scientist program visit www.miniscientist.ie.
Jamie Boyle and Róisín Dunne from Timahoe National School in Co. Laois are named Intel Mini Scientist Overall winners
Further images can be found here: Intel Mini Scientist Grand Final – an album on Flickr
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Media contact: Sarah Sexton | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 353 1 606 8537