Ireland’s best young science filmmakers honoured at Galway Science And Technology Festival Exhibition

Students from Gaelscoil Riabhach, Loughrea, with Science Foundation Ireland head of education and public engagement Margie McCarthy; Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly; and teacher Brian Ó Meacháin at the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Awards as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival in NUI Galway.

Students from Gaelscoil Riabhach, Loughrea, with Science Foundation Ireland head of education and public engagement Margie McCarthy; Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly; and teacher Brian Ó Meacháin at the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Awards as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival in NUI Galway.

Short films about climate action, hearing, and water were to the fore when young science filmmakers from Donegal, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Offaly, Sligo, and Meath were honoured at the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Video Competition Awards held at the recent Galway Science and Technology Festival Exhibition in NUI Galway.

More than 190 short science films were entered into the competition by some 1,300 science enthusiasts from 77 schools and community groups around Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including geneticist, author and BBC presenter Dr Adam Rutherford; BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year 2019 Adam Kelly; and Met Éireann meteorologist and RTÉ weather forecaster Joanna Donnelly, who presented the prizes along with Science Foundation Ireland head of education and public engagement Margie McCarthy.

A group of nine sixth class students from Baltydaniel National School in Newtwopothouse, Co Cork, along with their teacher Colman Lane, won the €1,000 first prize at primary school level for their video ’No New Water’. Primary school runners-up were Gaelscoil Riabhach from Loughrea, Co Galway, while Sooey National School from Sligo finished third.

Transition year students Kalen McDonnell, Noah Lynskey, Jason Doyle, Erin Russell Hughes, and Katie Hughes, along with teacher Aideen Lynch from Holy Family School for the Deaf in Dublin, claimed the secondary school €1,000 award for their short film ‘How Science Helps Us Hear’. Sixth year students Aidan Grennan, John Stevenson, Carl Coughlan, Patrick Coughlan, Maeve Maloney, Leah Hogan, Naomi Whynne Smith, and Natasha Delaney from Banagher College, Co Offaly were runners-up, while Ashbourne Community School transition year students Aibhe Cronin, Eabha Delaney, Leah Duffy, Lisa Golden and Niamh Battersby were third.

The ‘green team’ from Rosses Neighbourhood Youth Project in The Rosses, Co Donegal, led by Foróige Project Worker Clare Mullan, won the €1,000 community group first prize for their video about climate action, ‘Acting Local, Thinking Global’. Croí Heart and Stroke Charity communications manager Edel Burke and cardiovascular nurse specialist Patricia Hall were runners-up, while third place went to members of the Knocknacarra Foróige group in Galway.

Based in NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, and the Cell EXPLORERS science education and outreach programme, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges Irish schools and community groups to communicate science and technology via engaging and educational short videos. Since being launched in 2013 by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of volunteer scientists, this challenge has been met by more than 13,000 participants in 400 schools and groups around Ireland.

“We are delighted to support this initiative, which cleverly combines science literacy and creativity, while providing a great opportunity for students and teachers to think about how to communicate scientific topics in a novel way," said Dr Ruth Freeman, director of science for society at Science Foundation Ireland. "ReelLIFE SCIENCE encourages young people to connect with the science and technology in their everyday lives, and to bring that knowledge to a wider audience, while promoting current Irish scientific research and development.”

All videos can be viewed at www.reellifescience.com

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