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NI Primary School STEM Event ‘fully subscribed’

Posted By:
Electric Ireland

19th Apr 2023

Hundreds of NI Primary School pupils to attend ESB Science Blast

Organisers of ESB Science Blast are delighted to announce that the Belfast event, taking place on the April 25th at the ICC Belfast, is now fully subscribed. Over thirty projects will be presented at the event, with each class investigating the science behind a range of questions.

ESB Science Blast is a free, all-Ireland, non-competitive educational programme for primary schools, that involves the whole class investigating the science behind simple questions, such as “Can slime move without touching it?”. Classes then showcase their work at one of the three national events (Belfast/Dublin/Limerick). Each class is paired with a STEM expert who will guide the class in their investigation and share positive feedback.

The interest from primary schools to attend ESB Science Blast Belfast has been incredible”, explained Dr. Robert Conway-Kenny, RDS Science and Technology Programme Manager. “It shows that primary schools here have a real interest in engaging more with STEM. We will have over 30 projects coming to the ICC to showcase their investigations to our judges and most importantly, to learn more about STEM subjects in a fun and supportive environment.”

Now in its fifth year, close to 40,000 children have participated in ESB Science Blast to-date, making it the largest primary school programme on the island of Ireland. It is also one of the largest programmes of its kind in Europe.

Dr. Robert Conway-Kenny continued: “We have been blown away by the ambition of the projects the primary schools are undertaking this year. Carrickmannon Primary School, Newtownards, will investigate the question, ‘Can negative words affect plant growth?’, and St Teresa’s Primary School, Belfast, will ask the age-old question, ‘Is anyone out there?’.

“Other primary schools are exploring a different side of STEM like Ballougry Primary School, Derry/Londonderry who would like to find out, ‘Can chewing gum boost our performance in school?’, and St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School, Belfast are asking, ‘What surfaces can geckos move or climb on?’. That’s just a small selection of the exciting projects being investigated at ICC Belfast.

“To guarantee the children have a day to remember at ESB Science Blast Belfast, we have invited renowned STEM entertainer Mark Langtry with his ‘Smash Your Goals – the Science of Sport’ show. Additionally, Kieran Hennessy will tell the children about ‘The Secret Worlds of Gases’ by BOC. Of course, it wouldn’t be ESB Science Blast without our incredible ambassadors, John Sharpson and Clara Murray, will also bring along a whole lot of fun, energy and excitement to the day.”

Dr. Robert Conway-Kenny concluded: “To round out a perfect day for the primary school students we will also have some amazing STEM focused exhibitors at the show including ESB, Kainos, W5, NI Water, The Nerve Centre, and Armagh Planetarium, who all want to nurture the next generation of young scientists, mechanics, engineers, to think more seriously about STEM.”

Previous ESB Science Blast judge, Melanie Mulligan, Education Manager, CCEA, said: ‘Being a judge for ESB Science Blast in Belfast is a really enjoyable experience. It’s inspiring to see young minds working collaboratively and using critical thinking and problem-solving skills to create innovative solutions to real-world problems. It’s also very rewarding to see their developing confidence; especially given the recognition they receive on the day for all their hard work throughout the learning journey.”