Athlone Community College students win SFI Best Project Award at AIT SciFest

SciFest is an all-inclusive, all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second-level students. It involves second-level students showcasing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) projects at a series of one-day science fairs held locally in schools and regionally in the 14 Institutes of Technology, DCU and St. Mary’s College, Derry. SciFest is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Intel and Boston Scientific. The winners from each regional STEM fair go on to compete at a national final in November 2018.

Science Foundation Ireland funds oriented basic and applied research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) which promotes and assists the development and competitiveness of industry, enterprise and employment in Ireland. The Foundation also promotes and supports the study of, education in and engagement with, STEM and promotes an awareness and understanding of the value of STEM to society and in particular to the growth of the economy.

At this year’s SciFest at AIT over 204 projects exhibited, the top prize on the day went to Juliette McGrane, Laoise O’ Brien & Rebecca Campion from Athlone Community College for their project, ’Is clean country air just a myth?’

SciFest at AIT co-ordinator Dr. Noreen Morris said: “As always, the projects entered by the students in SciFest are impressive, engaging and thought-provoking. It is clearly evident from the high standard of research that has gone into the entries this year that second-level students from across the region are passionate about science, technology, engineering and maths. SciFest is a competition that aims to encourage students to develop an interest in STEM, while prioritising inclusivity and inquiry-based learning. We are proud to support such a valuable programme.”

SciFest is an all-inclusive, all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second-level students. SciFest is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Intel and Boston Scientific. As one of the 16 regional venues hosting a SciFest STEM fair, SciFest at AIT saw more than 450 students from schools all over the region exhibit.

Commenting on the SciFest at AIT regional STEM fair Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO said: “2018 was a hugely successful year with another big increase in the number of students taking part. In total 10,000 students exhibited their projects in local and regional STEM fairs across the country. SciFest gives students an excellent opportunity to develop their interest in STEM and inquiry-based approaches to learning, while developing their creative and problem-solving skills and learning to work in a team.”

SciFest 2018 is the fourth year of the prestigious Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award, which is presented at each of the 16 regional science fairs. Daire Elliott from the Marist College, Athlone, won this award for his project ‘An aid for Amblyopia’ and will go on to compete for the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Grand Award at the national final in November.

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Further information about SciFest is available at www.scifest.ie

Notes to editor

Daniel Seery

+353 86 1998858

dseery@ait.ie

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