Programme Description

Programme Description


SciFest’s main object is: To promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through the provision of a forum for students at local/regional/national level to present and display their scientific investigations.

The SciFest programme consists of a series of one-day STEM fairs for second-level students. SciFest was set up to encourage an interest in, and love of, the STEM subjects. It is designed to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Established in 2006 SciFest 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 and resources 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 of schools engaged with the programme in 2022/2023 increased to 105. 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

DkIT, TU Dublin (3 venues), MTU (2 venues), TUS (3 venues), ATU (3 venues), SETU (2 venues), 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. SciFest National Final

Best Project Award winners and a number of runner-up award winners 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.

Winners at the National Final go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the USA and attend the Berlin Long Night of Science. A selection of the winners of the regional Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award and the EirGrid Climate and Cleaner Energy Future Award also participate in the National Final.

Level 4. SciFest International

SciFest participated in the Intel (now sponsored by Regeneron) 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 12 years in which SciFest has participated in ISEF (There was no competition element to ISEF in 2020 because of Covid) our students have won a total of 13 major awards.

Winners from the National Final also attend the Long Night of Science in Berlin. Up until the competition was postponed dure to Covid winners also represented Ireland in the Hong Kong’s Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl (GYSTB). In the three years in which SciFest participated in GYSTB our students won a total of 8 major awards including a top Gold Medal Award.

Programme History

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

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31 2024
SciFest@School in Loreto College, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
08 2024
SciFest@School in Sandymount Park Educate Together Secondary School, Beech Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4
13 2024
SciFest@School in St Raphaela's Secondary School, Upper Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
29 2024
SciFest National Final
Michael D. Higgins, Patron of SciFest
SciFest is a registered charity.

RCN 20081270

Michael D. Higgins
© 2024 SciFest