ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016 Winners (l-r) Gaelscoil Riabhach Fourth Class students; Colm Lonergan and John Ubaldo from Patrician High School
ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016 Winners (l-r) Gaelscoil Riabhach Fourth Class students; Colm Lonergan and John Ubaldo from Patrician High School

Today, at the start of Science Week 2016, the winners of ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016 are announced as GAELSCOIL RIABHACH from Loughrea, Co. Galway at primary school level and PATRICIAN HIGH SCHOOL, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan at secondary school level. Their videos were selected by a panel of Special Guest Judges from over 200 short science videos, produced by more than 2,000 students in 104 schools around Ireland.

Based in NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges Irish schools to communicate science via engaging and educational short videos.

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ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016 Special Guest Judges: (l-r) Maria Louise Fufezan and Diana Bura; Prof. Eleanor Maguire; Rick O’Shea.

Selecting the best videos to share the €3000 prize fund were University College London neuroscientist and Royal Society Fellow Prof. Eleanor Maguire, BT Young Scientist & Technologists of the Year 2016, Maria Louise Fufezan and Diana Bura from Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan and RTE broadcaster and science enthusiast Rick O’Shea, who said “It was a genuine pleasure to go through all the entries in this year’s competition. Some were of such an incredibly high quality. I just wish the tech and the teaching that obviously goes behind this was around when I was in school!

All winning videos can be seen below and will be shown to the public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday 27 November.

Primary School Winner – €1000

The judges selected ‘Life in Space – An Saol sa Spás!’, produced by 4th class students of Gaelscoil Riabhach (Loughrea, Co. Galway) under the direction of teacher Brian Ó Meacháin, as the best primary school video, and deserving winners of the €1000 first prize. Described by Maria Louise Fufezan as “a really inspiring video that successfully communicated the wonders of life in space” the students interviewed NASA astronaut Colonel Ron Garan about his experiences aboard the International Space Station.

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Rang 4 Gaelscoil Riabhach (photo courtesy Brian O Meachain)

Secondary School Winner – €1000

The secondary school competition saw Patrician High School (Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan) Transition Year students John Ubaldo and Colm Lonergan, with guidance from their teacher Maeve Reynolds, claim the CÚRAM-sponsored €1000 first prize, with a video entitled ‘How The Sun Works’. “A film with engaging animation and good scientific content“, according to Prof. Eleanor Maguire, this animated video communicates complex concepts with an easy-to-understand, visually striking style

Colm Lonergan and John Ubaldo (l-r) from Patrician High School (photo courtesy Maeve Reynolds)
Colm Lonergan and John Ubaldo (l-r) from Patrician High School (photo courtesy Maeve Reynolds)

Primary School Runner-Up – €300

Fifth and sixth class students from Coldwood National School (Craughwell, Co. Galway), guided by teacher Karen Jackson, produced a video entitled ‘We Need Oxygen” to finish in second place at primary school level, winning €300. Prof. Maguire described the video as “A fantastic, multi-dimensional, mass participation informative film. There was science, singing, art, gymnastics – what more could you want!

Coldwood NS students (photo courtesy Karen Jackson)
Coldwood NS students (photo courtesy Karen Jackson)

Secondary School Runner-Up – €300

In second place at secondary school level was a film with “excellent scientific content, well-thought out and well presented” from Third Year students Oisin Hott, Finn Doyle and Isaac Akinsete. With guidance from teacher Sharon Gavigan, they delivered the video ‘Gravity Explained’ impressing the judges, and winning €300 for Coláiste Lorcáin (Castledermot, Co. Kildare).

Primary School 3rd Place – €200

In third place came Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class students from Holy Family School for the Deaf (Cabra, Dublin 7), with their video entitled ‘First Astronauts in Space‘. Led by teacher Geraldine Lewis, the students produced “a wonderful production, and informative too. The students’ characters really shone through.”

Students of Holy Family School for the Deaf (photo courtesy Geraldine Lewis)
Students of Holy Family School for the Deaf (photo courtesy Geraldine Lewis)

Secondary School 3rd Place – €200

In third place at secondary school level, comes a video under the popular ‘Myths Busted‘ category, ansering the frequently asked question ‘Does Urine Relieve the Pain of a Jellyfish Sting?” Under the supervision of teacher Finola Dolan, Manor House School (Raheny, Dublin 5) Transition Year students  produced a “very engaging and memorable film…with terrific presenters” Saoirse, Abbey, Klaudia and April.

Shortlisted Videos – €100

With thanks to the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, this year’s shortlisted videos will each receive €100 for their school’s science programme.

The Heart Of The Matter‘ – St. Joseph’s NS (Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry)

‘Falling to your Death’Adamstown Community College (Adamstown, Co. Dublin)

Why is Butter Yellow?‘ – Tulloha NS (Kenmare, Co. Kerry)

Tulloha NS students (photo courtesy Pamela Uí Dhuilleáin)
Tulloha NS students (photo courtesy Pamela Uí Dhuilleáin)

Epilepsy‘ – Marist College Athlone (Athlone, Co. Westmeath)

Congratulations to all participants!

Schools taking part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016. Primary schools are marked red, secondary schools green and shortlisted schools yellow.
104 schools took part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016 from across the country. Primary schools are marked red, secondary schools green, with prizewinning and shortlisted schools yellow.

ReelLIFE SCIENCE is directed by NUI Galway’s Dr. Enda O’Connell who said “We were overwhelmed with the response to this year’s competition, in both the increase in the number of students participating and the standard of the short science videos produced. The huge amount of time and effort that went into researching the topics and communicating them to the public in fun and inventive ways is evident on the screen, and is a joy to behold. Congratulations to everyone who took part!

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