The grand final of Intel’s Mini Scientist competition took place in the Helix in DCU on Friday.
The event was the culmination of months of competition between 4th, 5th and 6th class students from primary schools throughout the country.
Participating students developed projects around a topic of their choice from the primary school science curriculum, and a number of winners were chosen from regional finals around the country to attend the grand final in the Helix.
The overall winners of the competition were St. John’s National School in Cratloe, County Clare for their project titled “Badger Victim or Villain”. The project explored the plight of the badger in Ireland, investigating how vaccination can be used as an alternative to culling. The group also developed their own badger repellent based on their research.
The winners were presented with their award by Minister for Education Richard Bruton and as part of the prize the school will receive a €1000 grant from Intel.
Sarah Sexton, Communications Manager at Intel Ireland, said this was the first time the grand final had been hosted at the Helix, and doing so meant the exhibition could be opened to the public for the first time in the ten-year history of the competition.
“Anytime we’ve held it before we’ve either been space constrained, or with Intel it’s just constrained by the accessibility of the Intel campus”, Sexton said, “so this is the first time we’ve actually been able to openly invite people to come to the exhibition, which is the great thing about holding it in the Helix”.
The event marks another milestone in the burgeoning relationship between Intel and DCU, after an agreement signed last week which will see the two organisations collaborate on talent development, policy and research.
“We’ve always had a long-standing connection with DCU”, Sexton said, “whether it be in research or in some of the programmes that we do in science and technology, but this made a formal commitment to work together and see where we could perhaps do more.”