• One of Ireland’s biggest science events is coming to Belfast
  • Capacity for up to 800 NI primary schools to get involved in STEM showcase event
  • Entire Key Stage 2 classes encouraged to take part in fun scientific investigations
  • Every participating school will receive £75 towards travel costs
  • Deadline for 2019 applications is Wednesday February 27

One of the biggest science events on the island of Ireland is coming to Belfast, bringing nearly 2,000 Key Stage 2 pupils together from all over Ulster to display their creative science investigations at the ICC Belfast (Waterfront Hall) on June 5 and 6, 2019.

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 Wednesday February 27.

Nurturing 21stcentury skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity – skills highlighted by the World Economic ForumESB Science Blast will make learning STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fun for both students and teachers, and 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: ‘How can we make the best slime?’, ‘Why does cake go hard but biscuits go soft?’, ‘Where do waves come from?’, and ‘Can I charge my mobile device with a fruit?

All schools are then asked to bring their research to life by showcasing their findings away from the classroom amongst hundreds of their peers at the two-day event in the ICC Belfast.

Chief Executive of the RDS, Michael Duffy, said: “Participation in ESB Science Blast introduces young students to the four Cs of STEM education: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication – all vital 21stcentury skills for the next generation.

“Studies have shown that early positive experience of STEM can have a lasting impact, which is what we hope to bring about with the thousands of students that participate this year. We have found that the timing of the Belfast showcase event is particularly suited to P7 classes who already have their exams behind them, but any class that gets involved will really benefit and we would encourage as many as possible to register by our closing date of February 27.”

Every participating school will receive £75 towards their travel costs.

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 Usrequirements.

Schools can find out more information and register for their place at www.esbscienceblast.com.

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said:“At ESB, we believe in empowering young people today to become the problem solvers of tomorrow to help tackle climate change and other global challenges. Through our Generation Tomorrow programme, we are committed to supporting events such as the ESB Science Blast in encouraging creative thinking, collaboration and critical thinking. This is a great opportunity for classes to investigate the world of science around us and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their work at the showcase event in Belfast in June.”

Up to 10,000 primary school students and their STEM projects will be involved across three ESB Science Blast showcase events this year 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.

ESB 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.

Approximately 6,500 primary school students participated in the 2018 RDS Primary Science Fair. The new STEM event, ESB Science Blast, has capacity in 2019 for up to 13,000 students to take part.

Showcase events:

  • RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin, March 6-7;
  • Mary Immaculate College, Limerick May 22-24;
  • ICC Belfast June 5-6.

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, 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