Programme Description

Programme Description

Introduction

The SciFest programme consists of a series of one-day STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fairs for second-level students. The aim of the programme is to encourage an interest in, and love of, the STEM subjects. The programme is designed to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Established in 2006 the programme is now implemented at four distinct levels.

Level 1. Local – SciFest@School

SciFest@School is where second-level schools host their own in-house SciFest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) fair. Support for the event is provided by SciFest in the form of a SciFest STEM Fair Toolkit, resources and BKMs on the SciFest website. Support for judging, certificates and a number of prizes for participating students and promotional materials are also provided. This strand was introduced in 2011 and there has been strong demand from schools to participate. From just 5 schools in 2011 the number participating increased to 81 in the 2018/2019 school year. In these 81 schools over 7500 students presented over 3100 projects. This level also includes a SciFest fair in the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID) and in the Digital Hub for Teen-Turn students.

Level 2. Regional – SciFest@College

The Institutes of Technology, TU Dublin, DCU and St Mary's College, Derry host one-day SciFest STEM fairs which are open to all second-level students. A SciFest fair consists of a competition and exhibition of projects, a prize-giving ceremony, and may also include a selection of science talks, science demonstrations in the college laboratories and advice on careers in STEM and courses available in the college. SciFest@College affords students the opportunity to visit a third-level college, view the facilities and get information on the various STEM courses available. The fact that the event is regionally based and has open and free entry means that SciFest is both accessible and inclusive. The project also has a cross-border aspect as St Mary's College in Derry also hosts a SciFest fair.

Level 3. National - in Association with SFI

Winning projects from each SciFest@College STEM fair are invited to participate in a national SciFest STEM fair. The projects are evaluated by an expert panel of judges from academia, enterprise and government. Each of the exhibitors is presented with an Excellence in STEM award in recognition of their success at the regional fairs and the overall winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip along with their teacher to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) which is held annually in May in the USA. A selection of the winners of the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award and of the Specsavers Making a Difference Award at the regional STEM fairs also participate in the National Final.

Level 4. International – SciFest@ISEF and SciFest@The Broadcom MASTERS International Programme

SciFest participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for the first time in May 2012. ISEF is a one-week science fair, held annually in the USA since 1950, at which some 1800 students from over 420 affiliated science fairs in approximately 75 countries, regions and territories compete for a range of prizes. The projects are judged by a 1000-strong panel of highly-qualified judges. In the eight years in which SciFest has participated in Intel ISEF our students have won a total of 12 major awards.

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) International programme is an experiential award for top delegates from middle science fairs around the world. Participating in the Broadcom MASTERS entitles SciFest to select one junior student to be a Broadcom MASTERS International delegate. This delegate travels with SciFest’s official party attending the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the USA. The Broadcom MASTERS International programme includes delegates representing approximately 25 countries and consists of a series of educational activities, including a visit to the ISEF competition.



Programme History

Please follow this link to view a history of the development of the SciFest programme.

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Nov
20 2019
SciFest@School in St Colman’s Community College, Midleton, Co. Cork
Nov
21 2019
SciFest@School in Balla Secondary School, Balla, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Nov
22 2019
SciFest National Final
Nov
26 2019
SciFest@School in Blackrock College, Rock Rd, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
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Michael D. Higgins
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