The biggest science fair on the island of Ireland is doubling capacity in Belfast in just its second year, bringing over 1,500 key stage 2 pupils together from all over Ireland to display their creative science investigations in Belfast this June.
The RDS Primary Science Fair is calling on primary school students from across Northern Ireland to harness their natural science skills and submit project applications by the February 14 deadline, focusing on all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Open to key stage 2 primary school classes, the objective is to encourage as many students as possible to think critically about the world around them and work together as a class to produce a project that uses science skills to investigate the unknown, puzzling or quirky. A number of schools will then be invited to bring their research to life by showcasing their findings away from the classroom amongst their peers at the two-day Fair at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall (6 and 7 June)
Each project should seek to answer a specific STEM-related question closely linked to the primary school curriculum – the RDS Primary Science Fair has been endorsed by the CCEA and is designed complement the curriculum. 2017 investigations include: “How does milk make strong glue?”, “Does a hen’s diet affect the size of their eggs?” and “Could helium balloons really lift Mrs Twit into the air”. The options for the 2018 Fair are as endless as the children’s imagination.
Chief Executive of the RDS, Michael Duffy, said: “2017 was our first year in Belfast, and we were thrilled with the warm reception we received. The enthusiasm and excitement from the student participants, as well as the teachers and the wider STEM community, was palpable. We received really positive feedback and are very much looking forward to substantially increasing our offering this year by expanding to two days. We will also have a whole new programme of science-themed entertainment to keep participating and visiting students busy all day long.”
Former head of the NI Civil Service and Director of The Irish American Partnership, Sir Bruce Robinson, has been involved with the Fair for a number of years and spoke of how the Belfast Fair “presents a great opportunity to set the next generation on the path towards a STEM career. STEM subjects are vital to creating a future workforce of innovators and safeguarding the economic stability of Northern Ireland. The Fair is designed with primary school-age children in mind and to provide them with an entertaining, engaging and interactive learning experience.”
The RDS Primary Science Fair is already well-established in Dublin and Limerick and between the three venues will host a total of over 7,000 primary school students and their science projects in 2018. With an underlying ethos of encouragement through whole-class participation, all of the schools chosen to exhibit will be presented with trophies and individual certificates for students in recognition of their hard work. Constructive feedback from judges who work across science, education and STEM industries will also give students the opportunity to engage with STEM professionals.
With a limited number of spaces, schools hoping to take part should visit the RDS Primary Science Fair website to download information booklets and to submit their applications before the February 14 deadline. RDS Primary Science Fair website: www.primarysciencefair.com or telephone 0345 2661897.