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Our fast changing world requires today’s students to be life-long learners and studies have shown that effective learning requires students to take control of their own learning. With only one National Science Fair in Ireland, many second-level students are denied the opportunity to participate in a science exhibition and celebrate their achievements in science and technology. SciFest provides a forum for students who wish to exhibit their work and to experience the excitement of sharing their findings with other like-minded students. SciFest is the only science fair in Ireland that is open to all second-level students. When a student works on a project, they take ownership and get a taste of what it is like to be a professional research scientist. By participating in SciFest,the students build a strong science and math research foundation, hone their communications skills, and gain confidence to pursue higher education. For example, some students said: “I am now thinking of studying science at university. It was a good experience. I enjoy science much more now.” In 2009, over 2000 students (1,000 projects) exhibited in 15 venues throughout Ireland. This led to an increase of 200% in the number of students participating in science fairs. Ireland’s education policy statement is to promote excellence in both learning and study of mathematics and science subjects as the primary subject areas leading to careers and opportunities in the technology world. “It is vital that interest in science is stimulated at an early age and fostered throughout the education system to enable Ireland to achieve the goals of developing a strong knowledge economy and becoming a world leader in Science and Technology.” said Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Jimmy Devins T.D.Read the full SciFest and Intel Ireland Inspire and Promote Science Excellence Case Study.
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