Students from across Ireland took part in the Intel Mini Scientist Grand Final, an event which is the culmination of the nationwide competition which has been running since September.
The Intel Mini Scientist, which is now in its seventh year, gives primary school students from fourth, fifth and sixth class the chance to explore science through project based learning and exhibitions.
The first phase of the programme involves students participating at local level exhibitions where Intel judges visit the participating schools, choosing two winning projects in each. The second phase saw each of these winning projects take part in the Mini Scientist Regional Finals which were hosted throughout December at the Intel facilities in both Leixlip and Shannon.
The 2013 / 2014 initiative was the biggest year yet for the Mini Scientist competition with more than 5,000 students from 85 schools in 14 counties of Ireland taking part and the Grand Final event brought together the top 15 projects from across the country with almost 60 students participating in the competitions final round.
At the Grand Final, which was held in the Science Gallery in Dublin, the participants exhibited their projects for a panel of judges, which was made up from Intel employees, who had the difficult task of choosing the winning projects from the very creative variety. Each of the projects included visual displays, projects books and practical experiments based on a scientific area aligned with the national primary science curriculum. The Grand Final was attended by Ciarán Cannon, Minister for Training and Skills at the Department of Education, who had the opportunity to visit each of the participant projects before helping to award the prizes to winning projects.
The Final was filled with innovative and imaginative projects, put together through months of hard work and the judges, after a very difficult task of deliberation selected their winning projects;
Grand Final Overall Winner
• ‘Learnicles’ from Scoil Ui Riada, Kilcock, Co Kildare.
• ‘Posture’ from Náisiúnta an Bhaile Nua, Newtown, Co Meath.
• Air Pressure Busters from Cratloe National Scoil, Co Clare.
The winning project, 'Learnicles' was based on the development of a spelling app for students and Scoil Ui Riada, the school from which the winning project came, receives a grant of €1000 from Intel as part of the overall prize.
Brendan Cannon, Director of Corporate Affairs at Intel Ireland, was delighted with the success of this year’s Mini Scientist Grand Final, “The projects on display here today are all winners in their own right and are a showcase of the months of hard work by thousands of young people across Ireland. Each student competing is a fantastic role model of innovation and creativity and has done a remarkable job in communicating their work. Intel is very proud to be at the heart of the Mini Scientist program and we look forward to seeing all that will be made possible by these young people in the future”.
Minister Cannon also remarked on the achievements of those taking part “You are exceptionally talented young people and what you are doing here today through your science projects gives me real hope for the future. Each of you can achieve anything you want, if you work hard and if you enjoy what you do. Remember the excitement you feel today about science and discovery, because that excitement can remain with you through a long and rewarding career in this area. I'm confident that with your talent and your passion for science, each and everyone of you will play a part in shaping Ireland's future.”