[email protected] competition to go online for Limerick students

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Pic: Keith Arkins

LIMERICK students registered for SciFest 2020 are being asked to upload their projects online for judging for the 15th annual [email protected] competition.

The SciFest regional finals, which usually take place across 16 venues will move online due to the closure of schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Limerick’s second-level students who were due to attend regional finals in Limerick Institute of Technology Moylish and Thurles on April 28 and 30 respectively, are being asked to complete an online form and submit project books and supplementary material for online judging by Thursday, May 14.

Students can submit all forms and paperwork on www.scifest.ie.

Those participating in group projects are encouraged to collaborate with each other online and over the phone and then to upload their project and supporting material for judging through the new online portal.

SciFest organisers are asking teachers to encourage their students to continue to work on their projects and guide them through any questions they may have.

Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO said all schools, ITs and universities being closed for the coming weeks due to coronavirus “is a great disappointment for all of us involved with SciFest”.

Ms Porter said, “We want to encourage students to continue to work on their projects in the coming weeks in preparation for the regional finals and submit their projects online for judging.

“With over 3,000 students having signed up for [email protected] prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, we want to facilitate this learning opportunity in as much as is possible and we know from speaking to students, teachers and parents that they are eager to participate, and ensure students can take part in the SciFest National Final in November.”

The ScieFest Founder said the group appreciates the situation is not ideal “and that these measures won’t be available to all students” but will allow SciFest 2020 to go ahead “supporting as many students as possible, despite the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in”.

She concluded, “We would like to thank our partners across higher education, our judges and our sponsors for their assistance in helping [email protected] go online.”

In SciFest, second-level students showcase STEM projects at a series of one-day science fairs held locally in schools and regionally at 16 venues in the Institutes of Technology, TU Dublin, DCU and St. Mary’s College, Derry. The winners from each regional STEM fair will go on to compete at a national final in November 2020.

The winner(s) of the SciFest National Final 2020 will be presented with a trophy and will represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2021 in the USA.

For more information on [email protected], the online process and regular updates please visit www.scifest.ie.