SciFest 2018 launched by Conor Foy, SciFest winner 2013, Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement, Science Foundation Ireland, Christopher Carragher, Overall SciFest winner 2014, Caolann Brady, Overall SciFest winner 2016 and Sheila Porter, SciFest founder. Picture: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic
Limerick schools give a warm welcome to the SciFest 2018 fair
By ilovelimerick correspondent Zoe Conway
SciFest was founded in 2008 by CEO Sheila Porter, after the success of the pilot in 2006 and 2007. Sheila Porter came up with the idea for SciFest through her time as a science teacher and seeing how much fairs like this help students. And now SciFest 2018 is coming to Limerick!
Sheila told Youth Media Team that not only did her idea came from her being “a science teacher, I could see how much doing a project and completing it and showing it off to judges how much it meant to students. So, I thought that the option should be open to every single solitary student in the country. That was my main aim, hoping to make it more accessible and inclusive.”
Not only does this involvement between youths and science create an interest in science as a hobby, but it also creates a necessary interest as many participants and winners, look for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
The way the world is evolving is towards new and shiny technology, making it more and more necessary that kids are being introduced to the mechanics behind technology earlier, allowing them to form a natural interest. This contest is exceptional if, for one reason alone, it allows children to become creative and allows for a healthy atmosphere of competitiveness.
SciFest consists of four strands of competition, starting at local. This is where secondary-level schools host their own in-house SciFest STEM fair. In 2011 a mere five schools participated, however, last year it had grown to a raging sixty-seven, and that number is only going to increase this year as more Limerick secondary schools are planning on taking part.
From local competition, we continue to regional competitions, where the winners of the local competitions will progress to different Institutes of Technology to compete for Nationals. Our very own Limerick Institute of Technology will be one of the colleges hosting for the competition. The winners will get the chance to go to nationals, and from there the winners will proceed to Intel’s ISEF fair in the USA.
To apply to take part in the competition, simply click on the link below. All entries must be submitted by Friday, March 9th or Friday, May 11th for St Mary’s College, Derry.
For more information on STEM in Limerick, go here.
To apply for a chance to win SciFest STEM fair, go here.