ESB Science Blast returns for fourth Belfast event in 2020

  • Capacity for up to 80 NI primary schools to get involved in STEM showcase event
  • Key Stage 2 classes  encouraged to register today and get involved in fun scientific investigations
  • Every participating school will receive £75 towards travel costs

One of the biggest science events on the island of Ireland is returning to ICC Belfast (Waterfront Hall) on June 3 and 4, 2020. The event will bring Key Stage 2 pupils together from all over Northern Ireland to display their creative science investigations at a two-day extravaganza.

Managed and delivered by the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and endorsed by CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment), this non-competitive education programme calls on primary school students from across the Province to harness their natural curiosity and register their involvement by 1 April 2020.

Nurturing essential 21st century skills highlighted by the World Economic Forum such as critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity – ESB Science Blast will make developing these skills fun for both students and teachers, and the events will feature amazing science entertainment shows, tailor-made for a 7-12-year-old audience.

Open to all Key Stage 2 primary school classes, the objective is to encourage as many students as possible to think critically about the world around them and work together as a class, using scientific methods of discovery such as predicting, observing, measuring, etc., to investigate the puzzling, quirky or simply unknown… with typical investigations including: ‘Why do fish not get squashed at the bottom of the ocean?’’, ‘Does the colour of food affect our perception of its taste?’ and ‘What music genre increases concentration the most?’.

All schools are then asked to bring their research to life by showcasing their findings, away from the classroom, to their peers along with judges who work across science, education and STEM industries.

This is a FREE event and every participating school will receive £75 towards travel costs. Register now at

Chief Executive of the RDS, Michael Duffy, said: “The Royal Dublin Society is delighted to deliver this amazing learning opportunity for primary schools in Northern Ireland for a fourth year. Evidence shows that a positive experience with science and maths at an early age can have a really profound effect and we hope that some of the participants this year will go on to help shape Northern Ireland’s future knowledge economy. All those that get involved will gain new STEM skills, but they will also benefit through improved oral and literacy skills. We have also found that hosting the event in June is really suitable for P7 classes, who have their exams behind them and can really enjoy the experience of investigating the world around them through science and maths”

Teachers can use the ESB Science Blast Investigation Framework to help structure class investigations.  This Framework aligns with the objectives of the primary curriculum and supports delivery of World Around Us requirements.

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said: “With our Generation Tomorrow partners, ESB is supporting and encouraging young people to embrace and enjoy the learnings and opportunities from the world of STEAM. Events such as ESB Science Blast provide the perfect platform for today’s generation of creators and innovators to showcase their ideas and solutions, while at the same time nurturing critical thinking and collaboration. We encourage all interested young people and groups to participate and look forward to seeing all their great projects at the Belfast event.”

Up to 15,000 primary school students and their STEM projects will be involved across three ESB Science Blast showcase events in 2020 in Belfast, Dublin and Limerick.  With an underlying ethos of encouragement through whole-class participation, the constructive feedback received from judges who work across science, education and STEM industries will also give students the opportunity to engage with STEM professionals.

Schools can also keep in touch with the event via Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:  For further information, please contact Ciara Kinkead or Lawrence Duffy of Duffy Rafferty Communications on 028 9073 0880.



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.

Science Blast is a key project within the RDS Science and Technology Programme and an integral way in which the RDS achieves its mission, to contribute to Ireland’s cultural and economic development.

Over 12,000 primary school students participated in Science Blast in 2019. We are expanding capacity again for 2020 so that as many students as possible can experience the cross-curricular benefits of ESB Science Blast.

Showcase events:

  • RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin March 3-5
  • Mary Immaculate College, Limerick May 20-22
  • ICC Belfast June 4-5.

Independent evaluation of the RDS science education programme was carried out in 2016 by ‘The Research Base’, an international research consultancy specialising in education and skills. They found that 97% of participating students believe their involvement had improved their science skills, while 80% reported improvements in maths skills. This report also found high level of engagement in children’s STEM education, with almost all parents engaged; while teachers and parents alike responded that they found involvement to be highly relevant to their needs. This study also found that it has significant impact on pupil’s levels of confidence, communication skills, social skills and teamwork. Evidence also showed that participation in the programme over a number of years had a lasting impact at student, teacher and school levels.

About ESB

ESB is Ireland’s leading energy company established in 1927. Since its foundation, ESB has brought light and energy to communities in Ireland and beyond, helping them to reach their full potential. Today, ESB is leading the transition to a low carbon energy future, powered by clean electricity. This involves investing in low carbon and renewable generation, developing a smart network capable of supporting the further electrification of society and empowering customers to take more control over their energy use.

ESB’s Generation Tomorrow programme will see the company invest €7.5m over the next five years to support the work of a number of partners including ESB Science Blast. The Generation Tomorrow programme aims to help young people develop scientific literacy and critical thinking skills through programmes that encourage curiosity and discovery, helping 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


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, Kainos, Devenish Nutrition and supported by ICC Belfast, Belfast City Council, CCEA, C2K, AmmA Centre and Nerve Centre, Primary Science Teaching Trust, W5.