RDS Science Fairs
Each year, the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) hosts non-competitive primary science fairs where classes of students can present a project and learn from other students. The Partnership co-sponsors the Limerick fair and provides travel grants to the Dublin Fair for schools that are a significant distance away.
For the past three years, the Dublin Fair has been 120% over-subscribed and difficult for many schools to attend due to the length and cost of travel necessitated. The Irish American Partnership provided travel grants for rural schools to ease the financial burden, but the distance and over-subscription prevented many interested schools from participating. For this reason, the RDS and The Irish American Partnership are piloting a regional expansion model, beginning in Limerick in 2016 and expanding to Belfast in 2017. The Limerick Fair, a joint initiative for the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and The Irish American Partnership, engaged an additional 3,000 primary school students from 120 schools in scientific investigation and discovery this year. The Partnership is looking forward to building upon this success to ensure that all schools, especially small rural primary schools, have equal access to a strong science education.
The RDS Primary Science Fairs aim to develop students’ scientific skills and curiosity. They are a venue for students to develop numeracy and literacy skills, exchange ideas, and for teachers to gain a professional network of contacts to share best practices. Students are encouraged to design a project, investigate a question, and analyze their results.