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Scifest in DIT inspires discovery and innovation among school students

Posted: 11 April, 2018

150 secondary school students visited DIT last week for Scifest, an international science fair that aims to inspire secondary students to explore and study science, technology, maths and engineering (STEM).

Science - Scifest 2018 2

The fair in DIT was the first of sixteen regional Scifest fairs which are taking place at colleges across Ireland this Spring. School students in the Dublin region showcased their innovative STEM projects to a panel of judges in DIT Kevin Street. 

This year's overall winner was Emma Babos from Jesus and Mary College who won for her Guardian Pi project. Emma will go on to represent Dublin in the National Scifest finals, which will be held this November. 

Lots of other awards were won on the day, and the fair also included presentations and demonstrations from leading STEM experts, along with a talk on careers in STEM and the courses available in DIT.

The regional STEM fairs are hosted by the fourteen institutes of technology, Dublin City University (DCU) and St Mary’s College in Derry. By providing students with an opportunity to visit their local third-level Institute, the organisers aim to attract more students to study STEM courses at third level. The overall goal is to encourage a love of STEM subjects through collaborative, inquiry-based learning.

The festival, which engages 10,000 young people across Ireland each year, is inclusive and accessible – it is free to enter and open to all schools in the country. This year, over 70% of students attending the DIT fair were female students, who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers.

The winner of the national finals will go on to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which has been held annually in the United States since 1950. Some 1700 students from over 440 affiliated science fairs in approximately 70 countries, regions and territories will participate.

Scifest is managed by a not-for-profit company, Scifest Ltd, and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Smart Futures, Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific.