“Basic education is not sufficient to create wealth, to address concerns of food, water and energy security, to provide better health services and better infrastructure. For that, science is required.”
- Adnan Badran and Moneef Aou’bi UNESCO Science Report 2010
SciFest was piloted in 2007 and launched nationwide in 2008. It has grown to become the largest second-level project-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition in Ireland. SciFest 2011 had 2,907 students exhibiting 1,243 projects in venues throughout Ireland. A total of 338 teachers from 197 schools were also involved.
Second-level students of all abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to participate in SciFest in their schools and at their local Institutes of Technology and to experience the magic of STEM subjects.
Our fast changing world requires today’s students to be problem solvers and critical thinkers. Participating in SciFest promotes this type of learning and encourages students to use authentic research practices to create innovative solutions to real-world problems.
The SciFest experience takes students to a level beyond just memorising facts. They learn to work collaboratively, solve problems and communicate and present their ideas – all important skills to become the innovators of tomorrow.
SciFest aims to encourage a love of science through active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning and to provide a forum for students at local and regional level to present, display and communicate their scientific investigations:
- SciFest@School is where schools organise their own in-house SciFest science fair. Resources are provided on the SciFest website
- SciFest@College is a series of one-day science fairs for second-level students hosted throughout Ireland by third-level colleges. SciFest@College provides an opportunity for students to present their scientific investigations to peers and judges from enterprise and academia and to receive feedback on their projects. Lectures on exciting areas of science, less-formal laboratory demonstrations and hands-on activities as well as science career advice are also provided by the colleges
- In SciFest@Intel each of the Intel Best Project Award winners at SciFest@College is invited to exhibit at Intel. Projects are evaluated and one project is selected to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) which is held annually in May in the US.
SciFest is jointly funded by Intel Ireland and Discover Science & Engineering as project partners. The events are hosted by third-level colleges and supported by a number of other partners.
SciFest symbolises a highly successful collaboration between education, government and industry and between the second and third-level education sectors. It is an example of an easily scalable, cost effective model for the establishment of a network of regional science fairs.
For further information visit the SciFest website.