HUNDREDS of primary school students came together to showcase their STEM investigations (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at one of Ireland’s BIGGEST science events – ESB Science Blast Belfast.

Taking place at ICC Belfast (Waterfront Hall) on June 5 & 6ESB Science Blast is operated by the Royal Dublin Society, and over the two days it hosted nearly 60 Key Stage 2 primary school classes who displayed their findings to puzzling questions they had investigated.

Investigations included: Will the earth ever run out of Magma? How can a ship like Titanic float on water? What do plants eat? How do clouds make it rain?

ESB Science Blast is one of the biggest science events on the island of Ireland with approximately 12,000 primary school students and their STEM projects involved across three ESB Science Blast showcase events this year in Belfast, Dublin and Limerick.

The event is a non-competitive education programme managed and delivered by the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and endorsed by CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment).

With an underlying ethos of encouragement through whole-class participation, the constructive feedback received from judges who work across science, education and STEM industries gave primary school students the opportunity to engage with STEM professionals.

In addition to showcasing their research the children enjoyed educational science shows where they learned about their natural environment and how to dispose of waste, the science behind food and even received a tour of the solar system.

Michael Duffy, Chief Executive of the RDS: “We know that participation in ESB Science Blast is a huge boost for students’ ability and confidence in science and maths. But we have also found that there are many other benefits too in areas of teamwork, communication and creative thinking. This is our third year in Belfast but our first as ESB Science Blast and we have been delighted with all the work that the students have put into their investigations, with some great help from their teachers who are vital to the programme’s overall success.

Jerry O’Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive ESB spoke about the partnership with RDS and a shared commitment to promote STEM education and learning “Participation in events like ESB Science Blast helps to equip children with the crucial 21stcentury skills, supporting them not only to become creative and innovative problem solvers, but also active and engaged citizens, capable of making informed choices to tackle climate change and other global challenges.”

Colette Murphy, Science and Maths Education Professor at Trinity College Dublin addressed a breakfast of STEM and education stakeholders: “Science Blast is an amazing way for children to learn. It is one of the best examples of science learning that I have seen and it also has so many other benefits for the participating students. Scientists work the same way as children, playing, experimenting, finding things out, all are part of the everyday experience for both children and scientists.” 

 

NOTES TO EDITOR:

About The RDS 

The RDS (Royal Dublin Society) is one of the world’s oldest philanthropic organisations; it was founded in 1731 and works today to see Ireland thrive culturally and economically.

ESB Science Blastis a key project within the RDS Science and Technology Programme and an integral way in which the RDS achieves its mission. This is the first year of ESB Science Blast. Prior to 2019 the RDS operated the RDS Primary Science Fair for nine years. The RDS Primary Science Fair Belfast took place in June 2017 and 2018.

Sponsors:

ESB Science Blast is an education programme developed and delivered by the RDS. It is funded by the RDS, ESB, Naughton Foundation, Irish American Partnership, Devenish Nutrition, Citi, Irish Aid, Kainos and supported by ICC Belfast, Belfast City Council, CCEA, C2K, AmmA Centre and Nerve Centre, Primary Science Teaching Trust, W5

For further information please contact Ciara Kinkead at Duffy Rafferty Communications via Ciara@duffyrafferty.com or calling 028 90730880.