FRIDAY, JANUARY 22nd– 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 2015.
Sinéad Buggy and Laura Miller from Timahoe NS in Laois picked up the top award at the Mini Scientist Grand Final
The Intel Mini Scientist, which is now in its 9th years, 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 2015 / 2016 initiative was the biggest year yet for the Mini Scientist competition with more than 6,000 students from 105 schools in 14 counties of Ireland taking part in the Grand Final event. This year there were almost 2,000 projects exhibited as part of the Mini Scientist competition and the Grand Final brought together the top 22 projects from across the country.
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
Game Changer – Leaping Labradors – Timahoe NS, Co. Laois
Bike Phone Charger – CBS Primary, Ennis NS, Co. Clare
Lungs – Wicklow Montessori School, Co. Wicklow
Additional special prizes were awarded as follows:
• Best Communications award
Buzzy Bees, SN Colmcill Naofa, Moone, Co. Kildare
• Best Project book
Heat from Below, Tubberclare NS, Co. Westmeath
• Best Visual Display
Light & Reflection, Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Lucan, Co. Dublin
• Most Innovative Idea
Energy Speed Ramps, St. Mary’s Primary School, Enfield, Co. Meath
6th class students Laura Miller and Sinéad Buggy, who are both aged 12, were behind the wining project ‘Game Changer – Leaping Labradors’ which involved the creation of a digital game for visually impaired children. The girls conducted extensive research amongst a number of interest groups before embarking on the design of their video game ‘Leaping Labradors’. The game is a typical platform game with the aim of reaching the highest possible level whole collecting points along the way. The game is specifically designed for visually impaired players. 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 and that learning can also be fun. 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.
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Media contact: Sarah Sexton | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 353 1 606 8537