National Final Goes Virtual!

National Final Goes Virtual!

The SciFest 2020 National Final Goes Virtual

~ STEM enthusiasts of all ages encouraged to register and attend the virtual National Final of the largest and most inclusive second-level STEM competition in Ireland ~

26 September 2020 – SciFest, Ireland’s largest and most inclusive second-level STEM competition, has today announced that this year’s National Final will take place in an all-virtual format and will be held across three days. Since launching in 2006, more than 80,000 students have participated in the competition.

The event, funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Boston Scientific, Intel Ireland and Specsavers, will get underway on Thursday, 19th November and continue on Friday, 20th November before culminating with the National Final Award Ceremony on Saturday 21st November. The three-day event will feature a series of talks and presentations from dignitaries, scientists and previous SciFest winners. The virtual conference centre will also allow attendees the opportunity to view the finalists’ projects and vote in the STEM Outreach Award competition for their favourite project. Those interested in attending should check www.Scifest.ie for updates and further information on registration.

In the face of Covid-19 and following the great success of SciFest@College Online, the organisers were keen to make sure students had the opportunity to take part in the SciFest National Final which is traditionally held in the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin and decided to go online. This year the SciFest National Final will take place on a bespoke virtual platform which has been custom designed for the final and awards and is open to students from all over Ireland to attend.

Speaking about the new format, Sheila Porter, Founder and CEO, SciFest said: “We are delighted that the SciFest National Final will be able to go ahead this year, albeit in a different format. The ongoing pandemic has really demonstrated the value of science to our society and I think it is more important than ever to encourage students’ participation in STEM fields; they will be the researchers, doctors and scientists of tomorrow. That’s why we took the decision to proceed with this year’s competition in a virtual format. We hope students, teachers, parents and members of the general public will join us online for the National Final where you will get the opportunity to see interesting projects and hear from some of the best and brightest minds in science.”

Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement Science Foundation Ireland, said: “SciFest is a terrific initiative that each year, enables over 10,000 school students to grow their knowledge and passion for STEM. Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support this nationwide initiative since its inception through our SFI Discover Programme, which is working to make science accessible to all and highlights the importance of the scientific skills. As SciFest goes virtual for the 2020 National Final we are excited that students around the country can access the event and continue to experience this annual event. We are delighted to see SciFest grow year on year and look forward to the virtual final later this year.”

In SciFest, second-level students showcase STEM projects at a series of one-day science fairs traditionally held locally in schools and regionally at 16 venues in the Institutes of Technology, TU Dublin, DCU and St. Mary’s College, Derry. This year SciFest@College took place online to a resounding success.

The winners from each regional STEM fair go on to compete at a national final in November 2020. The winner(s) of the SciFest National Final 2020 win a trophy and €3,000, and will go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2021 in the United States.

Last year’s overall national final winner was Timothy McGrath, a sixth-year student from Killorglin Community College, for his research and development of a biofilter to combat oceanic and freshwater dead zones.

To register for the SciFest 2020 Virtual National Final please click on this link.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Grace Cooney/Cian Doherty

Drury Communications

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