Max Kamalarajah
Max Kamalarajah, Year 10 Student from Wallace High School

After receiving 40% of the 1,400 votes cast in our week-long Twitter poll, the winner of ‘ReelLIFE SCIENCE @ HOME’ is Year 10 student MAX KAMALARAJAH, who wins €1000 for Wallace High School in Lisburn, Co. Antrim.

In his video, Max used his kitchen sink and food from his cupboards to create a memorable demonstration of how the body recruits cells and proteins during Blood Clotting. The ReelLIFE SCIENCE team noted how this “really creative use of everyday items to explain a complicated situation captured the ‘at home’ aspect of ReelLIFE SCIENCE @ HOME” and described it as a “fantastic and novel depiction of the science of coagulation that certainly supported learning in an engaging and accessible way.”

In second place, with a superbly animated and scientifically relevant video about the power of the Immune System to fight outside invaders, is Transition Year student ENYA O’REILLY HUERTA, who wins €500 for her school, Naas Community College, in Naas Co. Kildare. Our ReelLIFE SCIENCE judges praised the video as “well-edited” with “brilliant animations, great science and beautiful production“. One judge liked the “wonderful art and great explanation within the time limit” while another said it was a “well-voiced and really relevant at the moment“.

Close behind in third place, with his distinctive animated video about ‘Germbusting Heroes’ Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister and Alexander Fleming, is Sixth Class student WILLIAM STOKES, who wins €250 for Baltydaniel NS, Newtwopothouse, Co. Cork. The ReelLIFE SCIENCE judging team called this video “a knock-out“, noted the “huge effort to cover a lot of information in a creative, engaging and informative way” and said “the use of the founding antibiotic fathers as germ busters was nicely done!

A total of 133 short science films were made by hundreds of young science communicators in homes all around Ireland during the Covid-19 lockdown, representing 80 primary schools, secondary schools and youth groups. 

ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a nationwide STEM engagement programme, which encourages young people and the general public to discover more about STEM and its impact on individuals, society and the environment, while at the same time developing participants’ creativity, communication and digital skills.

The programme is based in NUI Galway and is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the Cell EXPLORERS science education and outreach programme and the Galway Science and Technology Festival.

Speaking before the launch of ReelLIFE SCIENCE @ HOME, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative, which cleverly combines science literacy and creativity, while providing a great opportunity for students and teachers to think about how to communicate scientific topics in a novel way. ReelLIFE SCIENCE encourages young people to connect with the science and technology in their everyday lives, and to bring that knowledge to a wider audience, while promoting current Irish scientific research and development.

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Location of ReelLIFE SCIENCE @ HOME 2020 Participants

ReelLIFE SCIENCE was first launched in 2013 by Dr. Enda O’Connell and a team of NUI Galway scientists and science students. Since then, more than 14,000 young people in 450 schools and groups around Ireland have taken part, producing over 1,300 short science videos for the general public to enjoy.

Well done to everyone who took part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE @ HOME during the Covid-19 lockdown. The ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2020 competition will return in the new school year, with over €5000 in prizes to be won, so watch this space!

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