SciFest, Ireland’s largest and most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students has announced its return for the 17th consecutive year. The competition attracts 10,000 student participants annually and organisers have kicked off the 2022 competition with a call for entrants to the 16 SciFest@College regional fairs.
SciFest is free to enter and open to everyone across the island of Ireland, no matter their background or circumstances. The goal of SciFest is to help students develop research, problem solving, critical thinking, and presentation skills while fostering an interest in STEM fields. Project entries will be accepted across a range of scientific disciplines. The deadline for completed entry forms for SciFest@College 2022 is 11 March. The competition is eyeing a return to in-person fairs having successfully hosted the previous two years’ programmes online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
SciFest is local, regional and national with international opportunities for winning projects. Overall winners from each regional STEM fair will go on to compete at a national final in November 2022. The winner(s) of the SciFest National Final 2022 will be presented with a trophy and will represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2023 in the USA.
Speaking at the launch of SciFest 2022, Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO said: “I’m always so pleased to launch SciFest, and this year is no different. We are now entering the 17th year of SciFest, and I continue to be staggered by the high standard of submissions we receive each year. We’re immensely proud of this competition and the opportunities it offers students. These kids are the doctors, scientists and innovators of tomorrow and we are calling on all students, regardless of their circumstance or current STEM abilities to join us for SciFest 2022.”
At last year’s national final Clare Reidy, a sixth-year student from Our Lady’s Bower school in Athlone, Co. Westmeath was named SciFest STEM Champion 2021, for her innovative research project which explored Cosmic Radiation Protection, investigating effective building materials for future exploration of Mars. Clare will represent Ireland at Regeneron ISEF in Atlanta, Georgia, USA this May.
Speaking about her award, Clare said: “I loved every minute of the SciFest experience last year and winning the competition was a source of great pride for me and my family. SciFest enabled me to research something that intrigued me, and it helped sharpen the skills I needed to investigate it. Winning SciFest means I get to travel to Regeneron ISEF in the United States and I’m really looking forward to representing Ireland. I’d encourage students with an interest in STEM subjects to give SciFest a go because it will give you the tools to come up with ideas and solutions for real problems and existing issues.”
For more information on SciFest visit www.scifest.ie.