Science filmmakers from Galway were honoured at the recent Galway Science and Technology Festival Exhibition for their awards at the national ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition.
More than 1,250 science enthusiasts from 80 schools and community groups around Ireland entered the competition.
The winning videos were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including aeronautical engineer and astronaut-candidate Norah Patten, BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year 2018 Simon Meehan, and comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain.
The Mock the Week presenter said: “I was delighted to be a guest judge in this year’s competition and see how much enthusiasm, knowledge and energy is pouring out of Science classes across the country!”
A group of 24 third and fourth class students from Powerscourt National School, along with their teacher Rachael Kinkead, won first prize at Primary School level for their video ’Science and Me: The Skin’, presented by Laurie Ryan, Senior Executive – Education and Public Engagement with Science Foundation Ireland.
Primary school runners-up were Gaelscoil Riabhach from Loughrea, Co. Galway, while Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál from Carlow finished third.
Transition year students Emer Tobin and Katherine Morrow from Loreto Secondary School Kilkenny, claimed the Secondary School award, presented by Director of the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, Professor Abhay Pandit, for their short film about Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery of the structure of DNA.
Sixth year St. Mary’s College Galway students Jakub Szymonik and Alex Polchowski were runners-up, while Skerries Community College fifth years Sam Enright and Adam Kelly were third.
Seán Janson from Lackagh Foróige group in Lackagh, Co. Galway demonstrated the ‘Science of Smashing’ with equations, experiments and “tons of personality” to achieve first place at Community level, presented by Dr Muriel Grenon, Director of the science education and outreach programme, Cell EXPLORERS.
Members of the Westside Youth Project in Galway City were runners-up with a video about volcanoes, while third place went to the Galway Parkinson’s Association for ‘Living with Parkinson’s’.
Commenting on the programme, special guest judge Norah Patten said: “I think this is a fantastic initiative because the students are not only learning about a scientific topic – they are also developing skills to communicate what they’ve learnt. These types of hands on, practical projects will be really valuable as they progress through to the next stage of their career.”