News for schools

St PatricksimageSaint Patrick’s Cathedral goes high tech with interactive Discovery Space interpretative centre
Visitors to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin 8 will now be able to get a high tech insight into the building, past and present.
The Discovery Space fuses the history of the Cathedral with modern technology, with the docks housing the iPads, the Discovery Boxes where the games are stored, and the Audio Visual unit constructed from recycled 19th Century carved oak pews from the building.
The 55inch touch screen table allows users to discover the history of the Cathedral, including its monuments, characters and stained glass windows. It also shows comparative then and now photos of the interior of the building, as well as giving users the opportunity to explore hidden areas of the church.
Meanwhile, those visiting the AV area will be treated to short video snippets showing the Cathedral’s history. The seated area will also allow for presentations to small groups of people unsuited to the tour, giving them greater access to and appreciation of the historic church, which dates from 1220.
The Discovery Space is Phase Two of the €250,000 works to the building, Phase One of which was the installation of the Tree of Remembrance in the north transept last summer. The tree is in memory of those affected by conflict. Fáilte Ireland provided 65 per cent of the funding for the works, with Saint Patrick’s Cathedral making up the balance.
For further information on the Cathedral, visit

 CinemagicCinemagic courses for secondary schools

Cinemagic is an award winning festival that embraces the magic of film, television and digital technologies to educate, motivate and inspire young people. So many activities for schools to participate in and don’t worry they bring you to the venue! Activities including Directing and writing for film with John Butler 7 May 10.00am-12.00pm
The Legend of Longwood director and Q&A with Lisa Mulcahy 7 May 10.30am-1.00pm,
Creative writing with Fighting Words 8 May 10.00am-12.00pm, in Russell Street,
VFX in film with Windmill Lane 8  May 10.00am-12.00am, Animation with Cartoon Saloon 12 May 10.00am- 12.30am, Production Design with Tom Conroy 12 May 10.30am-12.00pm,Robot Overlords and director’s Q&A with Jon Wright 11 May 10.30am-1.00pm, An Introduction to French Cinema,Documentary Film with Brian Henry Martin 13 May 10.30am-1.00pm, Craft & Graft workshop 14 May 10.30am-1.00pm in Cineworld, App Development and Coding with Dan O’Reilly 14 May 10.00am 3.00pm, Special Effects Make Up in Film with MKF Institute 15 May 10.00am-12.30pm, Film and Television directing with Neasa Hardiman 15 May 10.30am-12.30pm, Animated Antics secondary school short film screenings  7 May- 15 May 10.00am-12.00pm  and Make A Movie In a Day 15 May 10.00am-3.00pmFor more info go onto 

  Evanna-LynchRewarding excellence in drama in schools across Ireland

This is the second year of the awards which have been set up by Bord Gáis Energy to recognise and reward participation in drama in schools across Ireland. Open to primary school students from 3rd – 6th class and all students in secondary school, this year’s awards have been expanded and will feature 11 categories including best performance in a leading role, best director, best musical, best costumes and best set design.
The deadline for entries is 12th January 2015 and shortlisted schools will be invited to a special awards ceremony at The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Wednesday 4th March 2015 where selected schools will perform on stage and winning schools will share a prize fund of up to €10,000.
To enter the awards, log on to where you can download an entry form to go with your submission. Completed entry forms should be sent to  or by post to The Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards, Real Youth, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.

 250,000 people experience the ‘Power of Science’ during Science Week 2014

An estimated 250,000 people took part in 800 science festivals, demonstrations, seminars and tours across the country last week during the 19th annual national science week. Coincidently the European Space Agency’s successful Rosetta mission to land the Philae lander on comet 67p was a wonderful demonstration of the ‘power of science’ – the theme for Science Week 2014 – in action in recent days. A host of events – from crystal growing workshops to robotics demonstrations and audiences with NASA Astronaut Greg Johnson – explored the power of science in Dublin, Sligo, Mayo, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and across the Midlands, while Galway’s Science and Technology festival continues until the 23rd November.

A number of libraries and community organisations will continue to run science themed events until the end of the month. Visit for events taking place across the country.


Science week logo

Celebrate Science during Science Week 2014 in the CHQ Building Thursday, 13th November to Saturday 15th November in the CHQ Building at the IFSC, Dublin 1. A weekend of science and film for movie buffs, science geeks, tech leaders and those with enquiring minds!

Smashing Science programme is co-presented by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, AMBER, UCD Science Expression, UCD School of Physics and Happenings who come together to host a series of films, discussions and interactions with scientists across the fields of materials science, sports analytics and physics.

Tickets are on sale via
Smashing Science is supported by the SFI Discover programme

Thursday, 13th November
Smashing Science opening night, join the UCD School of Physics for a unique opportunity to meet the Irish collaborators working with CERN at an event to mark its 60th anniversary celebrations. The critically-acclaimed documentary Particle Fever has won the prestigious Best Science or Natural History Documentary Award at this year’s 2014 Grierson Awards.
•  Science Demos from 5:00pm in CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
•  Particle Fever, 6:30pm, CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
•  The documentary follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.
•  The event will be introduced by Martin Grunewald, Professor of Experimental Physics at UCD. Panel Discussion with Prof Ronan McNulty, UCD School of Physics, Dr Dermot Moran,Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Dr James Keaveney, Marie-Curie fellow at Vrije Universiteit Brussels moderated by Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Broadcaster & Lecturer at School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin.
Friday, 14th November
•  Science Demos from 5:00pm in CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
•  Moneyball, 6:30pm, CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
•  Friday night in the city so we take the ball and roll with an evening exploring the functions of big data and analytics in sport and beyond. Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system.
•  Panel discussion moderated by Off the Ball, Newstalk sports journalists – Nathan Murphy & Adrian Barry with Prof Brian Caulfield, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Andy McGeady, Sports Writer, Ray Boyne former Head of Performance Analysis at the Dublin GAA Football Team and Brian Healy, Head of Predictive Modelling Team at Paddy Power
Saturday, 15th November
• Science Demos from 5:00pm in CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
•  The Man in The White Suit, 6:30pm, CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
•  On Saturday they look to the past and how science, invention and innovation were presented in the clever and often dark comedy The Man in the White Suit. In the 1951 Ealing Studios film, a timid Sidney Stratton, played by Sir Alec Guinness, is determined to create an ever-lasting fibre that repels dirt.
•  Panel discussion moderated by Irish Times Journalist, Una Mullally with Emer O’Daly, Love & Robots, Dr Pádraig Murphy, Lecturer in Communications at Dublin City University and Chair of the MSc in Science Communication and Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, Research Fellow at the CRANN Nanoscience Institute in Trinity College Dublin. .
Tickets for each event can be booked
For further press information, please contact Alex Boyd or Mary Colclough
Follow UCD Science Expressions on Facebook and Twitter at and


SciFest Grand Finals-3Christopher Carragher announced as overall winner of SciFest 2014!
• Monaghan student picks up top award for an automated system to aid people with memory loss
• Christopher will represent Ireland in the USA at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015
Christopher Carragher, a sixth year student from Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan has been named the overall winner of SciFest 2014, for his project Memory Buddy. SciFest is an all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second level students. This year saw a record number of over 6,000 students exhibiting their projects in local and regional science fairs across the country. Christopher was one of 29 students who went on to exhibit their 15 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) projects at the national final held in the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin.
Christopher’s teacher, Kathryn Higgins, received the Intel Teacher of Excellence award and will accompany Christopher to Intel ISEF.
The prize includes the opportunity to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Christopher’s project was the result of concern about the signs of short-term memory loss being exhibited by a family member and he set about designing an automated system to aid people with memory loss. Memory Buddy is a complete system designed and programmed by Christopher.  Using Google Calendar the Memory Buddy can alert the person about appointments and medication via flashing lights, sound and also via the TV. It includes a remotely controlled medicine drawer that presents the appropriate medicine at a particular time and there is a feedback facility that notifies a carer when medicine has or has not been taken. The system also includes an organiser that can be used to establish care rotas and appointments.
Another significant award presented was the Long Night of Science in Berlin Award, which went to Dundalk sisters Rachael and Shannon Ní Dhonnachadha for their project which looked at the science of punching.  A punch involves a rotation of the wrist resulting in a horizontal fist on impact – this was introduced at the end of the 19th century but with no documented reason for this change.  Rachael and Shannon set out to investigate if rotating the write before impact improved the efficiency of the punch.  They measured various aspects of a punch including force, acceleration and velocity and their results found that contrary to the current accepted practice, punching with a rotation of the wrist provides no advantage in punch force and overall not rotating the write is advantageous.
Other awards presented included:
·  Irish Science Teachers’ Association STEM award which went to St. Brendan’s College Killarney brothers for their investigation into the feasibility of micro-hydroelectricity generation;
·  The Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award which went to Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal students for their new and revolutionary farm management software ‘Agriscan’


Gaiety School of Acting Shakespeare Programme copyShakespeare Schools Programme
The Gaiety School of Acting – The National Theatre of Ireland – is offering your English class a unique opportunity to experience the best of Shakespeare at theatres situated in the heart of Cork and Dublin. This year they will also be going to Tipperary, Kerry and Waterford. The Shakespeare Schools Programme is aimed at Junior & Leaving Certificate students, covering Romeo & Juliet and Othello, with a workshop focusing on original text and designed to directly address the 2014/2015 English syllabus Shakespeare Question.  The Transition Year Programme is designed to engage students with the works of Shakespeare by exploring text and staging in a creative, fun and alternative manner. The Shakespeare Schools Programme is supported by who will supply an in-depth workbook for each student.
See advert for dates and prices and for more information please contact, call 01 679 9277 or visit

Digital picDigital Youth Council established in Ireland
The Digital Youth Council – the first of its kind to launch in Europe –has been established by 15 year old Tech Entrepreneur and founder of Kid Tech, Harry McCann, with the help of Ciaran Cannon, TD, and the Director of Galway Education Centre, Bernard Kirk. Comprising of some of the top young people in tech in Ireland, the Youth Council aims to give a voice to young people involved in technology in Ireland and provide them with a platform to influence the National Digital Strategy, and the future of technology in education There are currently twelve members of the Youth Council, which will be the main body of the movement.
“I see this as a huge opportunity to build from the incredible talent pool of young people in the technology sector in Ireland today, using their ideas, aspirations, and creativity to shape the future from a tech perspective”, said Harry McCann, Founder of Digital Youth Council and Kid Tech. “Inclusion is key – and that’s why we’re expanding this idea across the island of Ireland, to tap into the ideas of every child and young person with a passion for technology and feed them directly back to the people who can elicit change.” A key ambition is to establish mini-councils in schools around Ireland, and gather the views and opinions of young people across the country, in order to influence and feed back directly to those working within the Irish Government, EU Commission, business and the tech community.
Harry founded Kid Tech back in November 2013 with the aim to “Teach the next generation Tech”. They have received the backing and support of Viddyad, Blackberry, Norah Casey and British actor Stephen Fry.

 NUI Galway’s Novel Science Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools is Launched

Primary and secondary school students from all over Ireland have been challenged by NUI Galway to compete in a new science communication competition. Students are invited to make entertaining and educational short videos on a range of science topics for Reel LIFE SCIENCE. With over €3000 in prizes, the makers of the best video at primary and secondary school level will each receive €1000, to be spent on promoting science in the winning school. Second and third-placed entries at each level will receive €300 and €200, respectively.
The secondary school winner of the 2013 pilot competition was Michael McAndrew, a student from St Enda’s College in Galway with an animated video, entitled ‘Astrobiology – Life in Space’. Michael’s winning video can be viewed at
Closing date for submissions is Friday, 17 October and the winning schools will be announced during national Science Week 2014, 9th-16th November. Topics include ‘The Power of Science’, ‘Science Heroes’ and ‘Physics in Real Life’.
More information about the competition and application process can be found at
For more information contact Dr Enda O’Connell, NCBES, NUI Galway, at or 091 495435.

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