Last year’s SciFest Champion, Caomhín O’Leary, fifth year student from Ard Scoil na Mara, Tramore, Co. Waterford
SciFest, Ireland’s largest and most inclusive second level STEM fair programme is calling on students in Tipperary to enter the 16th annual SciFest@College competition.
The 2020 competition was run online and was widely acclaimed as a great success. The continuing COVID-19 restrictions mean that this year’s competition will again be online and students across the country are encouraged to enter.
All projects will be accepted from the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. The deadline for receipt of entry forms for SciFest@College 2021 is March 23.
SciFest aims to give students of all abilities and backgrounds the opportunity to develop research, problem solving, critical thinking, and presentation skills.
Participation in the SciFest programme is free at all levels. Since its foundation in 2006, SciFest has grown from a single STEM fair of 170 students to 99 STEM fairs with 10,000 students participating around the country.
Speaking at the launch of SciFest 2021, Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO said: “We are delighted to get SciFest underway for 2021. We have been running the competition since 2006 and we are so proud that it has become a key highlight in the school calendar. The competition has grown and evolved over the last 16 years and we look forward to this continuing long into the future. Last year’s virtual fairs were a great success; for now, SciFest will continue online but we can’t wait to welcome students back in person once it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are encouraging students to submit their entry forms by 23 March. We are always so impressed with the standard of submissions and I’m sure this year will be no different.”
In SciFest@College, second-level students typically showcase STEM projects at a series of one-day science fairs held in-person at 16 venues in the Institutes of Technology, Munster TU, TU Dublin, DCU and St. Mary’s College, Derry.
There is a wide range of prizes available at each regional venue, including the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award and the Intel Technology Award. This year SciFest is delighted to announce a new award for projects with potential for business impact, the Business Excellence Institute Award.
This award will go the project with the greatest potential to impact organizations and/or industries.
Overall winners from each regional STEM fair will go on to compete at a national final in November 2021. The winner(s) of the SciFest National Final 2021 will be presented with a trophy and will represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2022 in the USA.
At last year’s national final Caoimhín O'Leary, a fifth-year student from Ardscoil na Mara in Tramore, Co. Waterford was named the SciFest SFI STEM Champion 2020, for the research and development of an innovative video analysis measurement system for rehabilitating patients after joint injury or joint surgery. Caoimhín will represent Ireland at Regeneron ISEF in May.
Speaking about his award, Caomhín said: “Taking part and winning SciFest 2020 was the highlight of the year for me. Although the competition took place mainly online, it was a great chance to see what other students my own age were researching and the incredible work being done across the wide ranging areas of STEM. I couldn’t recommend applying to SciFest more. It was an amazing experience. The skills I learned through my participation will be useful as I progress in my education and future career. I am very grateful to everyone at SciFest, including Sheila and George Porter for this opportunity, as well as all my family, teachers, without whom none of this would have been possible. I am really looking forward to representing Ireland at Regeneron ISEF 2021.”
SciFest award winners competed in the Hong Kong Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl (GYSTB) for the first time in 2020, winning a number of top awards. SciFest students will again compete in GYSTB 2021.
For more information on SciFest visit www.scifest.ie.