Secondary school students are on a mission to explore space as part of a new competition aimed at generating an interest in science-related careers. The nationwide competition, called ‘The Saffron School Science Competition’, asks students to create a short video showing what transport will look like in 2030. The winning class will get a three-day trip to the European Space Centre in Belgium. The competition is sponsored by eFlow, the electronic tolling company.
The aim of the competition is to demonstrate the practical application of science in an effort to bridge the gap between education and job placement. According to the Government, Ireland’s investments in ESA programmes are expected to increase the amount of jobs here to 2,000 in the areas such as aeronautical science, physics and astrophysics by 2015.
While first prize is a trip to the European Space Centre, there are runner-up prizes for eleven schools. The grand winners will enjoy a three-day class visit to the European Space Centre’s Mock Astronaut Programme. The visit includes 12 hours of tuition and experiments which will involve the building and launch of micro rockets, moon walk simulations, NASA shuttle simulations and lectures on life in space.
Simon McBeth, Director of Communications and Customer Relations at eFlow explained that eFlow was especially keen to become involved with the competition.
‘The competition tests students’ ingenuity and imagination, giving them a practical project that will boost their interest in science and lead to new careers in an area that looks set to be jobs-rich’, said Simon McBeth, Director of Communications and Customer Relations at eFlow, who urged all junior cycle students in Limerick schools to apply.
Students can apply though www.competition.saffrontravel.org. Closing date for registration is 1 September, 2013. The winning entry and their class will visit the European Space Centre in Belgium in January 2014.