Since launching in 2013, more than 9,000 people have taken part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE in 26 counties around Ireland. These videos have received more than 130,000 views worldwide and have been featured on RTÉ’s News2Day and TG4’s Cúla4 TV programmes.
Below you can see a summary of each year’s competition, with the winning videos, prizegivings and special guest judges.
You can see a larger selection of videos in our Video Library organised under various themes, such as ‘Energy, Forces, Physics and Space‘ and ‘Our Healthy Bodies‘.
ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2016
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.
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.
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!”
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).
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.”
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.
‘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)
‘Epilepsy‘ – Marist College Athlone (Athlone, Co. Westmeath)
ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2015
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!”
The 2015 secondary school competition saw Causeway Comprehensive School, from Causeway, Co. Kerry, improve on 2014’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 Buckley, 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.”
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 at primary level, 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.”
In second place at secondary level, 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.
In third place at primary level, 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.
‘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 at secondary level.
ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2014
‘The History of Medicine’ was made by Leaving Certificate student Julien Torrades of Summerhill College, Sligo, under the supervision of his Art teacher Jonathan Cassidy, winning the Primary School first prize of €1000.. The video was described by Prof. Curry as “a good use of stop-motion…with a nice sense of humour…covering an impressive amount of ground in a short space of time”.
‘The Secret Life of Honey Bees’ was produced by Fifth and Sixth class students from Sooey National School, Co. Sligo, with the help of their teacher Thomas Egan, winning the Primary School first prize of €1000. Judge Professor Stephen Curry commented: “Sooey National School’s video had good science content, with a very, very funny script and the kids were clearly having a lot of fun which makes the film hugely appealing.”
‘Lise Meitner, the Science Hero that time forgot’ tells the story of Austrian Physicist Lise Meitner, who many people believe should have shared the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work with Nobel Laureate Otto Hahn on “the discovery of the fission of heavy nuclei.” This video was made by Transition Year students from Rosses Community School, Dungloe, Co. Donegal under the direction of their teacher Michelle Gallagher, winning €300 for their school.
‘ChemKids‘ explores the Science Week 2014 theme ‘The Power of Science’ and was made by all the students (from junior infants to 6th class) of Scoil Eoin, Tahilla, Co. Kerry, with the help of their teacher Doireann Healy, winning €300 for their school’s science programme.
‘Gravity in a Nutshell’ was made by Transition Year students in Causeway Comprehensive School, Co. Kerry, under the guidance of teacher Jennifer Barry, winning €200.
‘All You Need Are Worms’ was submitted by Fourth class students of Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School in Dublin, with the help of their teacher Simon McConkey (pictured), winning €200.
An additional publicly voted prize, sponsored by Medical Supply Company, is awarded to students of St. Michael’s House Special National School in Ballymun, Dublin 9 who, with the help of their teacher Melanie McInerney (pictured), made the wonderful video ‘Trees: Properties and Uses’.