Education news

RDS Primary Science Fair `an investment in the long-term future of NI business competitiveness'

Pupils of St Oliver Plunkett's PS in Belfast, Ryan Martin and Abi Harper show off the experiment they will be exhibiting

A PUBLIC forum for primary schools across Ireland to showcase their class science projects is to be held in the north for the first time.

The RDS Primary Science Fair Belfast will take place at the Waterfront on June 9.

Organisers say introducing children to science, technology, engineering and maths (stem) at a young age is central to building the skills pipeline for tomorrow's economy.

The science fair, they add, is "an invaluable investment in the next generation and in Northern Ireland's future competitiveness".

The aim of the fair is to equip young people 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.

Overall, 40 primary schools from across Northern Ireland will participate.

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.

Children exhibit classroom projects on a diverse range of topics.

Pupils from Clea PS in Armagh will present `Does a hen's diet affect the size of their eggs?' while All Children's Integrated PS in Newcastle, Co Down has a project entitled ˜Where is the best location to place a wind turbine in our school?'

Moneymore PS will show `Which substance will disappear fastest when placed in water?'

This year's event is supported by The Irish American Partnership, Belfast City Council and Devenish, which delivers nutritional products.

Owen Brennan, executive chairman, said Devenish was 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," he said.

Former head of the NI Civil Service, and Director of The Irish American Partnership, Sir Bruce Robinson said the fair coming to Belfast "presents a great opportunity to set the next generation on the path towards a stem career".

"International studies have shown that primary-aged students are more open to engaging with stem subjects than they are in later school years," he said.

"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."

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