Participation in Limerick’s RDS science fair reaches record high

Monaleen National School, Castletroy County Limerick Picture Sean Curtin

The Third RDS Primary Science Fair opened in Limerick on Thursday. Over 3,000 primary school students are exhibiting their science projects at the RDS Primary Science Fair Limerick which is running from Thursday the 18th of January to Saturday the 20th. Thirty-six Limerick schools are set to take part.

As part of the Fair, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, each class undertakes an investigation using STEM skills and exhibits it at the Fair. Questions this year include: “Will robots be the future of farming”, “Should we blow out our birthday candles” and “Why do we dream?”

Each STEM project operates on a whole-class basis, making sure that everyone gets involved. Each day of the Fair sees a whole new set of primary school classes exhibit, maximising the number of schools participating. Since the expansion to Limerick in 2016 from a Dublin only event, Munster participation has substantially increased with record numbers this year from Limerick.

Speaking on the opening day of the RDS Primary Science Fair Limerick at MIC , Michael Duffy, RDS Chief Executive, said: “Three years ago we expanded to the RDS Primary Science Fair to Limerick. In Limerick we have found a range of like-minded organization’s, including primary schools, that are committed to the future of Ireland’s knowledge economy,. Engaging with STEM-related investigations at an early education age has been shown to be very beneficial for students’ long-term engagement with STEM subjects. STEM skills will be the foundation for many of the new jobs created this century.”

Every year, at least 50% of the judges at the RDS Primary Science Far are female. This year to highlight this fact, Dr Jennifer Byrne and Rena Buckley were asked to judge at the opening day of the Limerick Fair in 2018.

The Rose of Tralee, Dr Jennifer Byrne said: “I really enjoyed my role as a judge today. The many benefits of participation are obvious and they include even more than just science and maths skills, such as teamwork, presentation skills, literacy skills, numeracy skills, etc., all of which can only stand to them in the future.

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Cork GAA star, Rena Buckley, was judging on the opening day of the Limerick Fair too: “As a physio I work using science skills every day, so it was great to see young students learn the fundamentals of STEM skills through their projects and realise that the world of science is all around us.”

The aim of the Fair is to equip students with science and maths skills. It has been developed and fully managed by the RDS, is a non-competitive event.. The Fair taps into children’s natural curiosity, encouraging students to engage and question the everyday world around them.

                                  Limerick Projects

  1. Nicker NS- Does our school have hard water? How does this affect appliances?
  2. Scoil Mhuire- Does a childs lung capacity differ with age and gender?
  3. Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh- How acidic is our local rainwater?
  4. Banogue NS- What are the best materials to use in our bug hotel?
  5. Shanagolden NS- Does cooking food destroy its potential Vitamin levels?
  6. Our Lady of Lourdes NS- What is the best way to brush my teeth?
  7. Monaleen NS- What are the factors that affect human reaction rates?
  8.  Herbertstown NS- ASH- Is it the only suitable wood for the clash?
  9. Scoil Idé- Plants in space- how does microgravity affect plant growth?
  10. Scoil Naomh Íosef- Is living in the countryside better for our health?
  11. St. Fergus NS- Battery life saving aerodynamics, how does this work in the electric car?
  12. Scoil Dean Cussen- What is the relationship between the discolouration of teeth and time prior to washing?
  13. Kildimo NS- The importance of sleep and why do we dream?

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