31 May 2017
RDS Primary Science Fair To Make Belfast Debut
RDS Primary Science Fair debuts in Northern Ireland for first time at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on June 9
Introducing children to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) at a young age is central to building the skills pipeline for tomorrow’s economy and events like the RDS Primary Science Fair are an invaluable investment in the next generation and in Northern Ireland’s future competitiveness - that’s the message from the Northern Ireland organisations who are supporting the inaugural Fair.
Overall, 40 primary schools from Northern Ireland and beyond will participate in the RDS Primary Science Fair at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on June 9. The Fair is a showcase of STEM projects by Key Stage 2 Years 4 to 6 and has been developed and managed by the RDS in Ireland for the past eight years. This will be the first time that Northern Ireland has hosted the Fair.
The Fair will see hundreds of school children exhibit classroom projects on a diverse range of topics, such as:
- ‘Where is the best location to place a wind turbine in our school?’ (All Children's Integrated PS, Newcastle, Co. Down);
- ‘Which substance will disappear fastest when placed in water?’ (Moneymore PS, Co. Londonderry);
- ‘Does a hen’s diet affect the size of their eggs?’ (Clea PS, Keady, Co. Armagh).
This year’s Fair is supported by The Irish American Partnership, Belfast City Council and Devenish.
Headquartered in Belfast, Devenish delivers innovative nutritional products and solutions for the feed industry, the food industry and for human health. Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman of Devenish, said: “Devenish is pleased to invest in the next generation of industry leaders. Providing an opportunity for students to engage in STEM subjects in an interactive and engaging way is pivotal.”
Former head of the NI Civil Service, and Director of The Irish American Partnership, Sir Bruce Robinson says the RDS Primary Science Fair coming to Belfast “presents a great opportunity to set the next generation on the path towards a STEM career”.
He added: “International studies have shown that primary-aged students are more open to engaging with STEM subjects than they are in later school years. The Fair is designed with primary school-age children in mind and to provide them with an entertaining, engaging and interactive learning experience. We’re looking forward to bringing the Fair to Belfast which will support the curriculum in Northern Ireland.”
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Mary Ellen Campbell, said: “Belfast City Council is delighted to support this event. Young people are our future leaders and we must ensure that they have the right skills base to prosper while also growing the local economy. By getting young people excited about science, they are developing many skills that will encourage them to consider pursuing a STEM career and the RDS Primary Science Fair is a great showcase for this.”
The aim of the Fair is to equip students with science and maths skills, as well as soft skills such as increased confidence, better communication, social interaction and teamwork. It is fully managed by the RDS, is a non-competitive event and looks to engage the entire class in a science related project. The Fair has been endorsed by CCEA.
About the RDS Primary Science Fair (www.rds.ie/primarysciencefair)
The RDS is Ireland’s Philanthropic Society. Founded in 1731, it has worked since then to see Ireland thrive culturally and economically. It does this through working in the areas of the arts, agriculture, business, equestrianism and science. The RDS Primary Science Fair is part of the RDS Science and Technology programme which aims to encourage the development of science and mathematical skills in primary school aged children by fostering education innovation. An external evaluation of the RDS Primary Science Fair in 2016 established that 97% of pupils participating believed that their involvement had improved their science skills; 80% reported improvements in their maths skills. In addition, participation also had a positive impact on pupils’ confidence and soft skills, including communication, social skills and teamwork.
About Devenish (www.devenishnutrition.com/)
Devenish is a farming and food company, delivering innovative scientific solutions and technologies for the feed industry, the food industry and for human health. A privately-owned company, Devenish provides pre-mix and feed for equine, pigs, poultry, cattle, sheep, aquaculture, game and pets. Headquartered in Belfast, Devenish has nine manufacturing sites across Northern Ireland, GB, the USA and Uganda, as well as offices in UAE, Uganda, Mexico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and India and is exporting to over 35 countries worldwide.
About IAP (www.irishap.org/)
For more than twenty years, the Irish American Partnership has worked to empower the next generation of Irish leaders by supporting educational initiatives in the North and South, funding direct grants to primary schools, science teacher training, university access scholarships, and employment learning programs. The Partnership provides forums for visiting leaders from Ireland to speak in the U.S., connecting Irish-Americans with their heritage and promoting economic development through tourism, trade, and mutual exchange.