DkIT Announces Regional Winners of SciFest 2018

11 May 2018

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) welcomed some of the most inquisitive minds in the North Leinster and South Ulster region to its campus for the SciFest regional programme.



Hundreds of secondary school students from Louth, Cavan, North Dublin, Meath, and Monaghan exhibited their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) projects to compete for the coveted title of SciFest 2018 Regional Finalist.

SciFest is an all-inclusive, all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second-level students. SciFest is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Intel and Boston Scientific. With more than 130 projects on display investigating everything from the ‘scientific truth behind the 5-second rule’ to the ‘effect of texting on thumb sensitivity in young people’, the judges had a difficult task in shortlisting just 13 regional winners.

Helena Cooney, science teacher at Virginia College, Co. Cavan said, “There are many benefits to students entering competitions such as Scifest.”

“Students learn through hands on, experimental, problem based approaches to learning developing skills such as design of an experiment, data collection and data analysis, communication and entrepreneurship and innovation.”

“Directed learning promotes confidence and strong student ownership of their projects. Looking to the future it is a brilliant extra-curricular activity for students to add to their personal statement or or application form for College /University. It shows a real passion for science and an ability to think for oneself.”

DkIT President Michael Mulvey said,

“We are happy to host this because DkIT has a very wide range of programmes in the STEM area including Science, Agriculture, Engineering and Computing and we have a very good record in terms of individual attention and completion rates.”

“DkIT is located in an area on the Belfast Dublin corridor which is increasingly the centre for development in terms of the Pharmaceutical Industry. There was great news of the Chinese company WuXi recently announcing 400 jobs in our region adding to the jobs already created in this Sector to date."

“We are very much at the heart of developments in this area and are keen to continue supporting this. We look forward to welcoming more international and national companies to our region over the coming months ahead.”

“We aim to nurture and develop the entrepreneurs of the future and indeed I think we have quite a few of them here today at SciFest.”

Dr. Edel Healy, Head of School of Health & Science and Scifest@DkIT Coordinator also commented:

“I would like to congratulate all students from more than 30 schools for taking the time to work on their projects and exhibit at SciFest. This is the tenth year that DkIT has hosted the regional heats of the SciFest competition and every year we are blown away by the creative and inventive STEM projects on display.

I would like to pay special tribute to our 13 fantastic winners and their teachers from the North Leinster and South Ulster region. I have no doubt that they will do our region proud at the national SciFest competition which takes place in Dublin later in the year."

Winners of the SciFest Regional Finals at DkIT 2018 are:

SciFest Winners:

  • Eureka Secondary School, Irish Science Teachers' Association Award
  • Ardgillan Community College, BioPharmaChem Ireland Chemistry Award (BCPI Award)
  • Ardgillan Community College, RSC School Chemistry Award (teacher Award)
  • Ardgillan Community College, Newstalk Best Communicator Award
  • De La Salle College, Environmental Award
  • Athboy Community School, Intel Award
  • Bush Post Primary School, Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award
  • Ardgillan Community College, Abbott Runner-Up Best Project Award
  • Coláiste Dún an Rí, Science Foundation Ireland Best Project Award

DkIT Awards:

  • Eureka Secondary School, Best Senior or Intermediate ProjectEureka Secondary School
  • St Vincent's Secondary School, Best Junior Life Sciences Project
  • St Mary's Diocesan School, Runner-up Junior Life Sciences Project
  • Ardgillan Community College, Best Junior Physical Sciences or Technology Project

Photos of SciFest@DkIT Winners can be viewed here.

Commenting on the SciFest@DkIT regional STEM fair Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO said:

“2017 was the tenth anniversary for SciFest and a hugely successful year with another big increase in the number of students taking part. In total 10,000 students exhibited their projects in local and regional STEM fairs across the country. We are sure that 2018 will be another successful year. SciFest gives students an excellent opportunity to develop their interest in STEM and inquiry-based approaches to learning, while developing their creative and problem-solving skills and learning to work in a team.”

Cllr Clifford Kelly, chairman of the Governing Board of DkIT, was delighted to see students from across the region taking part in SciFest at DkIT.

“It is fantastic to see over 30 schools here taking part and almost 350 students.”

“It is a wonderful opportunity for the students from 2nd level schools to come here to DkIT and to participate in science and it also gives them a great experience of a 3rd level institution which is very important.”

He said they were all welcome to explore the campus after the SciFest competition was complete and, “it gives them a great idea of how things in 3rd level work.”

ENDS.


SciFest is an important STEM outreach initiative coordinated by the School of Health & Science at DkIT. DkIT offers a wide variety of STEM courses which are available for CAO Change of Mind. To view all courses, please click below:

Explore DkIT Courses


For further media enquiries, please contact:

Thomas Redmond, Head of Marketing & Communications at DkIT, M. +353 (0) 851775488, E.  thomas.redmond@dkit.ie