Winning schools from Dublin and Kerry make a big bang with their videos about Space and Light!
The winners of ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2015 are today, at the start of Science Week, announced as Scoil Aonghusa Senior, Tallaght, at primary school level, with ‘Scoil Aonghusa Rocket Launch‘, and Fifth Year secondary school students, Solas O’Halloran and Matt Tyrkiel from Causeway Comprehensive School, Co. Kerry with their video, ‘The Mystery of Light‘.
Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenged Irish primary and secondary schools to make short videos, which would entertain and educate people, on a range of scientific topics. The challenge, with a total prizefund of €3000, was met by more than 1,200 students and teachers in 77 schools around Ireland, producing over 120 science videos in both English and Irish.
Speaking about the competition, Special Guest Judge Commander Chris Hadfield said “Discovery and creativity, turned loose by imagination. A great project that I am proud to be a part of.” Joining Cmdr. Hadfield on the judging panel were Trinity College Dublin Professor of Molecular Evolution, Professor Aoife McLysaght and BT Young Scientist and Technologists of the Year 2015, Ian O’Sullivan and Eimear Murphy from Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork.
The videos below will be shown to the general public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday, 22 November. The videos are also on display during Science Week in the Galway City Museum (Tues -Thurs) and Galway Film Centre.
Primary School Winner – €1000
The judges selected ‘Scoil Aonghusa Rocket Launch’, produced by 4th class students of Scoil Aonghusa Senior, Tallaght, under the direction of teacher Jennie Smith, as the best primary school video, and deserving winners of the €1000 first prize. The video, a news report live from Tallaght’s first manned rocket launch, was described by Cmdr. Hadfield as “fun” and “well-acted”, while Prof. McLysaght praised the “humour interspersed with the science,” remarking that “This video is great fun and I think the pupils had fun making it too!”
Secondary School Winner – €1000
The 2015 secondary school competition saw Causeway Comprehensive School, from Causeway, Co. Kerry, improve on last year’s third place finish by claiming the CÚRAM-sponsored €1000 first prize, with a video entitled ‘The Mystery of Light’. With guidance from science teacher Bridget Buckely, the filmmakers, fifth year students Solas O’Halloran and Matt Tyrkiel, were hailed as “engaging hosts” by Cmdr. Hadfield, while he described their video as being “cool, clearly explained” and “dramatically filmed.”
Primary School Runner-Up – €300
An animated, bilingual video called ‘Ag Dearadh an Todhchaí’, examined the Science Week 2015 theme ‘Design Your Future’ predicting the future for medicine, space travel and even teleportation. Claiming the €300 second prize, the video was made by 4th and 5th class students and teacher Brian Ó Meacháin, in Gaelscoil Riabhach, Baile Locha Riach, Co. na Gaillimhe. Prof. McLysaght said “The stop-motion animation is really lovely; along with the clear narration, this video is very charming.”
Secondary School Runner-Up – €300
In second place, a “well-narrated” animation with “excellent drawing” from Transition Year student Anna Deprisse (with guidance from teacher Julia White), entitled ‘Marie Curie: Heroine of Science’ impressed the judges, winning €300 for Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny.
Primary School 3rd Place – €200
In third place, winning €200, were the 5th and 6th classes from Sooey NS, Co. Sligo, with ‘Ninja Nematodes’, introducing us to some of the creatures living in our soil, a “complicated topic explained very well through a brilliant production.” No strangers to the competition, Sooey NS students, guided by teacher Thomas Egan, won ReelLIFE SCIENCE in 2014.
Secondary School 3rd Place – €200
‘Killina Secondary School Light‘, a “humorous look at the properties of light” by Fifth Year students Eoghan Donoghue and Sean Paul Fenlon, under the direction of science teacher Joe Varley, earned Killina Presentation Secondary School, Tullamore, Co. Offaly the third prize of €200.
Shortlisted Primary School Videos
Second class students from Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna, Baile Átha Cliath 9, with the help of their teacher Fionnuala Murphy,
produced a video about gravity, called ‘Imtharraingt’. “It is great to start with such an apparently simple question “why do things fall down” and from there explore gravity. Great enthusiasm from the students and nice to see so many contributors,” commented Prof. McLysaght.
An original musical number ‘Water is Cool for School: Hydration for Concentration’ was written and performed by Fourth Class students in Scoil Éinde Boys NS, Galway, with help from teacher Niamh Hickey. Ian O’Sullivan and Eimear Murphy described it as “A great song and a great video. It really shows the importance of drinking water.”
Shortlisted Secondary School Videos
‘Evolution: What Happens Next’ was produced by Fifth Year students Kevin Atkins, Evan Burke, Conor Giles Doran and Laurence Roche from De La Salle College, Waterford, under the supervision of science teacher Mary McDonagh and art teacher Nikki Lee. The animated video was described by Cmdr. Hadfield as an “Amazing evolution animation, good drums/sound, very cool claymation, creative, a lot of excellent work!”
Transition Year students Isabel Gallagher, Carol Buckley, Roisin McAteer, Muireann McAuliffe, Isabel O’Neill and Lainey Nugent Considine, from Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare, made ‘Evolution: From Shrew to You’ with guidance from teacher Colette Redington. The video was praised by Ian O’Sullivan and Eimear Murphy for its “Excellent scientific content and production. It had a very clear narrative also. The video explained a broad topic very well.”
Congratulations to all participants!
ReelLIFE SCIENCE is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts, in collaboration with the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme from the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences. The competition has been running since 2013, and previous year’s videos have tens of thousands of views in over 100 countries, and have featured on RTE2’s ‘News2Day’ and TG4’s ‘Cúla4’ programmes.
Dr O’Connell congratulated all of the participants, saying “We were hugely impressed with the standard of this year’s entries. The hours of hard work and passion for science displayed by the students was apparent in the videos, making it a very difficult decision for the judges. Well done to everyone who took part!” All of the submitted videos can be seen on this YouTube Playlist.