The Patron of SciFest is Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
SciFest is greatly honoured that President Higgins has agreed to be the project’s sole Patron. The President’s patronage is recognition of the hard work and dedication of the teachers who support and encourage their students to develop and exhibit their science and technology projects and to those teachers who also organise their own in-house SciFest@School fairs. It is also recognition of the work of the staffs of the third level colleges who give freely of their time and expertise to organise the 15 SciFest@College events, to act as judges at these events and to ensure that the students who participate in the events have the best possible experience on the day.
SciFest has developed rapidly since its launch nationwide in 2008. In that year just over 1600 students exhibited 680 projects. Five years later in 2013 over 2300 students exhibited 941 projects at SciFest@School fairs while almost 3500 students exhibited their work at 15 SciFest@College events. On 22 November 2013 the overall winners from the 15 SciFest@College fairs took part in a national competition in the Science Gallery in Trinity College. The winner of this competition, Paul Clarke from St Paul's College, Raheny, Dublin, will represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles in May 2014. The second-placed project at the 2013 national final, by Conor Foy of Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, Co. Limerick, was of such a high standard that it has been decided to also send it to compete in the Intel ISEF competition. Paul and Conor and their mentors will travel to Los Angeles courtesy of Intel Ireland.