11 December 2017
Thousands of primary school students for 2018 RDS Primary Science Fair
Fair spans 8 days and 3 cities in 2018
Integral part of Ireland’s STEM education infrastructure
2018 projects include:
Can we get balloons to lift us off the ground?
Why do onions make us cry?
What science is inside my pencil case?
Can energy be transferred using lollipop sticks?
Almost 7,500 primary school students will participate in the 2018 RDS Primary Fair across three cities – Dublin, Limerick and Belfast. Capacity in Belfast has doubled after the inaugural year in 2017 which was warmly received by primary schools on both sides of the border.
Speaking at the launch, Michael Duffy, chief executive of the RDS said: “Last week the Department of Education and Skills set ambitious targets to make Ireland a world leader in STEM. Keeping young students open to and engaged with science is vital for the outcome of these targets. The projects that the students complete as part of the RDS Primary Science Fair help transform their natural curiosity into scientific inquiry. Feedback shows that participants’ science and maths skills improve, as does their confidence, teamwork and social skills.”
This January 11-13 just under 3,000 primary school students take part in the RDS Primary Science Fair Dublin, which runs alongside the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. While a week later, January 18-20, over 3,000 students will take part in the RDS Primary Science Fair Limerick. That same month the entry process for the Belfast Fair opens, with the Fair taking place in the Waterfront Hall in June 2018.
The RDS Primary Science Fair encourages primary school teachers to focus on developing students’ core scientific skills by investigating a question or problem by ‘working scientifically’ and ‘designing and making’ as per the primary science curriculum. Creativity and curiosity are vital components of each project with titles this year such as: Can we get balloons to lift us off the ground? Why do onions make us cry? What science is inside my pencil case? and Can energy be transferred using lollipop sticks?
The Fair is internationally unique in its methodology and pedagogy and has been independently cited as a potential global benchmark for similar initiatives. International studies have demonstrated correlation between primary school science engagement and later academic science achievement.