ReelLIFE SCIENCE Winners 2018 Announced!


Winners 2018

Today, to coincide with Science Week 2018, the winners of ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2018 are announced as POWERSCOURT NS from Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow at primary school level, LORETO SECONDARY SCHOOL, Kilkenny at secondary school level, and LACKAGH FORÓIGE GROUP at Community Level.

Winning videos were selected from a total of 175 entries from more than 80 schools and community groups around Ireland, by a panel of judges including aeronautical engineer and astronaut-candidate Norah Patten, BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year 2018, Simon Meehan and comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain, who said:

“I was delighted to be a guest judge in this year’s competition and see how much enthusiasm, knowledge and energy is pouring out of Science classes across the country!”


Based in NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Cell EXPLORERS programme, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges Irish schools and community groups to communicate science and technology via engaging and educational short videos. Since being launched in 2013 by Dr. Enda O’Connell and a team of volunteer scientists, this challenge has been met by more than 10,000 participants in 350 schools and groups around Ireland. Special guest judge Norah Patten said of the programme

“I think this is a fantastic initiative because the students are not only learning about a scientific topic – they are also developing skills to communicate what they’ve learnt. These types of hands on, practical projects will be really valuable as they progress through to the next stage of their career.”

All videos will be shown to the general public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday, 25th November.

Primary School Winners

Powerscourt NS
Third and Fourth class students from Powerscourt NS, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow with teacher Rachael Kinkead.

The panel selected ‘Science and Me: The Skin‘ by Powerscourt NS from Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow as the best video at Primary School Level, winning €1000. Norah Patten commented that it was “nice to see all of the kids participating. Lots of easy to understand science communicated. Love the Lego part, very easy to understand and well planned. Any age group could watch this and learn something new from it” while Dara Ó Briain commended the “strong involvement from the class” and that there was “loads to learn” from the video.

Secondary School Winners

Loreto Secondary School
Katherine Morrow and Emer Tobin from Loreto Secondary School Kilkenny.

The animated biopic ‘Rosalind Franklin: A Lesser Known Science Heroine‘ from Loreto Secondary School Kilkenny transition year students, Emer Tobin and Katherine Morrow, claimed the CÚRAM-sponsored first prize at Secondary School Level. The video was described by Dara Ó Briain as “A really good topic, beautifully presented” while Simon Meehan was “delighted that Dr Franklin’s work was brought to light in this manner and given a chance to be publicly recognised.”

Community Group Winners

Lackagh Foroige2
Sean Janson from Lackagh Foroige and his “Trusty Sledgehammer”

Lackagh Foróige group member Sean Janson demonstrated the ‘Science of Smashing’ with equations, experiments and “tons of personality” to win the CKI-sponsored first prize at Community Level. Norah Patten praised Sean for “trying to put some maths and science to smashing. Great job on front of the camera!” while Dara Ó Briain liked that the science on screen is “experimental science. It’s repeatable, properly explained and has tons of personality!

Primary School Runner-Up

Perennial high achievers Gaelscoil Riabhach from Loughrea are back again this year with an “impressive” video called “Eratosthenes agus Imlíne an Domhain” from their sixth class students, measuring the circumference of the Earth in collaboration with Katastari Primary School in Greece. Dara Ó Briain praised the video as “A simple experiment but a profound result– plenty of input and understanding demonstrated – plus, very repeatable.”

Secondary School Runner-Up

Familiar faces Jakub Szymonik and Alex Polchowski, sixth year students from St. Mary’s College Galway are back this year with a “nicely communicated, clear and confident” video entitled ‘Mythbusters: Did We Evolve From Monkeys?“. Dara Ó Briain praised the video for its “good energy” while Simon Meehan said it was “well designed, engaging and an interesting use of resources available.”

Community Group Runner-Up

A Normal Day In Pompeii“, described as having “loads of class” by Dara Ó Briain was produced by Keira and Amy from Westside Youth Project, with the help of Eileen Kennedy from NUI Galway. Norah Patten congratulated the girls on a “great job at explaining the history of Pompeii, the eruption of Vesuvius and why volcanoes erupt. Well done on taking the initiative to do this

Primary School Third Place

Scoil Mhuire gan Smál from Carlow claimed third place at Primary School Level with a fifth class video about “The History of Dinosaurs!“, a big favourite for scientists of all ages. Judge Simon Meehan  praised “a very creative and engaging display of facts about dinosaurs using clay models, with reference to meaning of terms and precise facts“, while Dara Ó Briain recognised all of the “effort gone into the animations” and was “delighted to see so many of the class involved.”

Secondary School Third Place

Adam Kelly and Sam Enright, fifth year students from Skerries Community College in Dublin, produced a “very polished” video entitled ‘How Does Sound Work?“. Norah Patten was particularly impressed saying the video was “Very clean and easy to watch and understand. Nice explanation of sound, good use of questions throughout to engage, well planned and it answers the questions that come to mind. Great job!

Community Group Third Place

The judges selected the video ‘Living with Parkinsons‘ produced by Galway Parkinsons Association, with help from Olivia Ng and Aitor Almanza from NUI Galway as the third placed video at Community Group Level. Norah Patten praised everyone involved: “Very well done, a difficult topic to communicate on but you did a fantastic job. The personal stories make the video very relatable so well done on capturing that. The intro captured attention right from the start. Great job at pulling together the interviews to explain what Parkinsons is and what it is like for people living with it.”

Winners 2018Winners 2018


Announcing ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2018

The ReelLIFE SCIENCE Video Competition is back for 2018!

In its sixth year, the contest is now open to participants of all ages, from Primary and Secondary Schools, Community Groups, Youth Groups and Clubs all around Ireland. We want you to share your passion for Science and Technology while having some fun along the way!

ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2018-Back
Click on the image above to download this year’s competition flyer.

We are encouraging participants to pick up a camera or smartphone and make an engaging and educational three minute video communicating a science topic for the general public. This year’s competition topics are ‘Healing the Body‘, ‘How Things Work‘, ‘Myths Busted‘, ‘Our Amazing Planet‘, ‘Science and Me‘, ‘Science Heroes‘, ‘Science in Space‘ and ‘The Power of STEM‘.

The closing date for entries is Friday October 19th. We are very excited to announce that this year’s winning videos will be selected by a panel of Special Guest Judges, including comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain, aeronautical engineer and astronaut candidate Norah Patten and BT Young Scientist winner Simon Meehan.

ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a wonderful project, which encourages people to connect with science and technology in a fun way, and share their knowledge and creativity with the public via video. I’m delighted to be one of the judges and am very excited to see this year’s videos.” Dara Ó Briain

Judges 2018
ReelLIFE SCIENCE Special Guest Judges 2018 (l-r: Dara Ó Briain, Norah Patten, Simon Meehan)

Results will be announced during Science Week 2018 and the best videos will be screened for the public at the Galway Science and Technology Festival on Sunday November 25th.

Based in NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award over €5000 in prizes this year, with the makers of the best videos at Community Group, Primary School and Secondary School level each receiving €1000.

Check out our How To Take Part guide for more information, while you can view winning videos from previous years on our 2013-2017 page. A more extensive range of videos are available to view in our Video Library, curated under various themes.

Keep in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

ReelLIFE SCIENCE Winners 2017 Announced!

Today, at the start of Science Week 2017, the winners of ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2017 are announced as SOOEY NATIONAL SCHOOL from Sooey, Co. Sligo at primary school level, DAVITT COLLEGE, Castlebar, Co. Mayo at secondary school level, and COROFIN FORÓIGE CLUB at Community Level. Their short science videos were selected from almost 200 entries, produced by over 1,500 participants in 83 schools and community groups around Ireland.

Based in NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges participants in schools and community groups to engage with science by producing fun and educational short videos. Since 2013, the programme has encouraged more than 8,500 participants in 300 schools and community groups nationwide to learn more about science and technology, while developing their communication and digital skills.


Selecting the best videos to share the €5000 prize fund were Trinity College Dublin Professor of Biochemistry and Fellow of the Royal Society Prof. Luke O’Neill, NASA and Lockheed Martin aerospace engineer Amber Gell and BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017, Shane Curran from Terenure College Dublin.

All of these students should feel like winners, because they did an exceptional job with their entries. I had a lot of fun watching the videos and learning more about their favourite science concepts. You’re only as good as your competition and the ReelLIFE SCIENCE competition clearly brings out the best in us. It stirs a healthy public interest in science and inspires so many great minds to compete.” Amber Gell

ReelLIFE SCIENCE enlists the help of over 100 science students and researchers each year and is directed by NUI Galway’s Dr. Enda O’Connell who said: “We were thrilled again this year with the reaction to the competition, particularly with so many new schools and community groups getting involved for the first time. We are always inspired by the knowledge and creativity shown by the participants in their videos and their passion for science and technology is clear to see. Congratulations to everyone who took part!

Winning and shortlisted videos can be seen below and will be shown to the public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday November 26th. All 2017 videos can be found on the ReelLIFE SCIENCE YouTube channel.

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