Secondary students to showcase their work at GMIT SciFest

Secondary students to showcase their work at GMIT SciFest.

Secondary students to showcase their work at GMIT SciFest.

Secondary school pupils from counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Clare, and Tipperary will exhibit a range of exciting science projects in GMIT Galway today (Thursday ) as part of the 2014 Young Scientist SciFest competition.

SciFest is an all-island science competition where second-level students showcase their science, technology, and maths projects at a series of one-day science fairs held in the 14 regional institutes of technology and the University of Ulster.

In GMIT Galway, more than 100 students will exhibit 50 projects and posters on a range of topics in the life and physical sciences, and technology disciplines.

Among the many projects on display at today’s event are ‘The effects of nitrates in beetroot juice on athletic performance’, by the Dominican College, Galway; ‘A theory on the astrobiological inhabitants of our solar system’ by Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway; ‘Which fruit is the best source of power’ by Presentation College, Headford; ‘To investigate how to influence our dreams’ by St Patrick’s College, Killala, Co Mayo; ‘How music levels affect your concentration – in search of the perfect volume’ by St Mary’s College, Galway; ‘Is yawning contagious’ by Yeats College, Galway; ‘Does being left or right brained influence your interests’ by Meán Scoil Muire Gan Smál; ‘Asthma in students’ lives’ by St Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea; ‘Redheads – are they more likely to be hypermobile’ by Seamount College, Kinvara; and 'Exercise to revise wise' by St Mary's Secondary School, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

The winners from each science fair will go on to compete at the national final in November.

The SciFest programme is primarily sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Science and Engineering Programme and Intel Ireland. It is also supported by a number of other companies and organisations.

GMIT SciFest is organised by the GMIT School of Science and the GMIT Schools Liaison Office. Each school project team will be interviewed by a panel of scientific and engineering experts from GMIT. A preview of what to expect at the event in GMT is available to view on GMIT’s YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/1hLu34O.

According to Dr Des Foley, head of the GMIT School of Science, there is something to interest everybody at this year’s science fair. “We are very pleased to welcome secondary school students and their teachers to GMIT for this exciting event,” Dr Foley said. “It is always a joy to see and listen to young people explain their projects and answer questions in such a knowledgeable manner.”

GMIT Schools Liaison Officer, Dr Carina Ginty, added: “The SciFest competition is an excellent public opportunity for pupils to showcase and present their scientific investigations and get feedback from experts in the field. It encourages secondary students to take an interest in, and develop a love for science, technology, engineering and maths through active collaborative inquiry-based learning.”

Last year saw a record number of students and schools taking part in SciFest — 5,368 students exhibited 2,262 projects in schools and institutes of technology across the country.

Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said: “Since SciFest was launched nationwide six years ago it has gone from strength to strength. I am continually amazed by the passion and dedication demonstrated by the students. SciFest is a celebration of STEM subjects. It encourages students to push the boundaries of the classroom, use their knowledge of science, investigate and be creative in their projects. The achievement of these students is an inspiration to us all and is a tribute to them and to the hard work and support of their teachers.”

[email protected] will run from 9am to 1pm today (Thursday ) in the main campus in GMIT.

For further information, contact the GMIT Schools Liaison Office [email protected] or see www.scifest.ie

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