2017 Judges Each year, ReelLIFE SCIENCE recruits a special panel of scientists and science communicators to select the best science videos made by schools and groups around Ireland. This year is no different, and we are delighted to introduce our Special Guest Judges for 2017 as Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College Dublin, Amber Gell from NASA and Lockheed Martin and Shane Curran from Terenure College Dublin.

Closing date for entries to this year’s competition is Friday October 13th!

Prof. Luke O’Neill is one of Ireland’s most respected and recognisable scientists. Awarded a prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2016 for his groundbreaking work on the innate immune system, Luke’s signature is now in the Society’s Charter Book alongside those of eminent scientists like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

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Prof Luke O’Neill with cell culture flasks in Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Prof. O’Neill is also well known from his time as a panellist on the RTÉ2 comedy-science panel show ‘Eureka! The Big Bang Query‘, hosted by Neil Delamere and featuring another former ReelLIFE SCIENCE judge, Dr. Aoibhinn Ni Shúilleabháin.

Amber Gell is an aspiring astronaut and aerospace engineer with Lockheed Martin and NASA.  From a young age, Amber has wanted to become an astronaut and has studied hard to achieve an impressive range of qualifications – Amber has received Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Aerospace Engineering and Aerospace Studies, a Master’s of Science Degree in Physiology & Human Performance, a Master’s of Engineering Degree in Systems Engineering, a Master’s of Science Degree in Finance and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) Degree.

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Amber Gell experiencing weightlessness in a zero-gravity environment. Photograph: James Blair.

When the chance came to work on the Orion programme at NASA with Lockheed Martin, Amber jumped at the chance (see above photo!). According to NASA, “Orion will carry astronauts into deep space and then return them home to Earth. Orion will be able to travel to an asteroid or even Mars.”

NASA is currently developing a rocket system called the Space Launch System, on top of which will sit the Orion spacecraft, as it is carried out of the Earth’s atmosphere and past the moon. You can listen to Amber speak to Ryan Tubridy about her ambition to one day be part of a Mission to Mars.

Videos are a great way to get students more interested and researching science-related topics and presenting in a manner reflective of this generation and their preferred communication styles. This competition seems like a lot of fun!” Amber Gell speaking about ReelLIFE SCIENCE in 2017

On a recent trip to Ireland for the Irish Science Teachers’ Association conference, Amber took some time out of her busy schedule to visit the winners of the ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2015 competition, Scoil Aonghusa Senior in Tallght, Dublin 24.

Shane Curran is the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winner for 2017. For his project, Shane developed the ‘qCrypt’ system, which can be used to protect sensitive data. A Leaving Cert student from Terenure College in Dublin, Shane is currently representing Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in the SpaceX Event Centre in Tallinn, Estonia.

Shane Curran receiving his BTYSTE winners’ trophy from Shay Walsh (MD BT Ireland) and Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton. Photograph: BT Young Scientist


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