posted on June 12th, 2024

STEM Celebration Success for NI Primary Schools

STEM Celebration Success for NI Primary Schools: ESB Science Blast Showcases the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers

The ICC in Belfast buzzed with excitement as over 1,000 primary school pupils, accompanied by their teachers, gathered to celebrate the sixth annual ESB Science Blast. This vibrant event, a key initiative of the RDS (Royal Dublin Society), is a free, non-competitive educational program that encourages primary school students across Ireland to delve into the science behind everyday questions.

ESB Science Blast pairs each class with a STEM expert who meets them at the showcase, offering valuable feedback and encouragement. The initiative is part of a broader effort to promote STEM education through similar events in Dublin and Limerick, fostering a culture of curiosity and innovation among young students.

Niamh De Loughry, Deputy Chief Executive of the RDS Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm: “ESB Science Blast encourages the positive exploration of science, technology, and engineering in primary schools. The energy, excitement, and celebration of curiosity during the event in Belfast were truly inspiring. We commend all the young participants, their teachers, and the expert mentors who generously shared their time and knowledge.”

This year, the showcase featured 40 projects from over 30 primary schools, spanning locations like Belfast, Portstewart, Ballygowan, Crumlin, and Derry-Londonderry. The projects explored a variety of intriguing questions, such as “How clean is our local river?” and “Why do dogs see things differently from humans?” Prominent themes included biodiversity, wellbeing, and the science behind sports and exercise.

Paddy Hayes, Chief Executive of ESB, praised the event’s success and the students’ ingenuity: “Once again, we have witnessed an inspiring event with the next generation of scientists and engineers from across Northern Ireland. The buzz of excitement and fun around the various displays was electrifying, as was the level of creativity and problem-solving skills the young participants demonstrated. From our perspective, the event has been a resounding success.”

The event also saw participation from local organizations and businesses, showcasing their support for STEM education. Notable attendees included the NI Fire & Rescue Service, Tesla, Kainos, and NI Water, highlighting the community’s commitment to nurturing future talent in science and technology.

ESB Science Blast is a flagship project within the RDS Science and Technology program. It is funded and supported by the RDS, ESB as the title sponsor, and other significant partners including the Department of Education (Ireland), Science Foundation Ireland, and Bristol Myers Squibb, among others. These collaborations underscore a shared commitment to inspiring, enabling, and empowering positive change through education.

Staff and pupils from St Teresa’s Primary School in Belfast.
Staff and pupils from Antrim Primary School.

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