Discover Science and Engineering is calling for all national primary schools to register for the Discover Primary Science and Maths, Award Of Science & Maths Excellences.

image of Discover Primary Science

2011 saw 472 Irish primary schools showcase excellence in science and maths. Discover Science and Engineering is the national integrated awareness programme, managed by SFI on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Its objectives are to increase the numbers of students studying the physical sciences, to promote a positive attitude to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to foster a greater understanding of science and its value to Irish society. (Image credit: DPS)


The Discover Primary Science and Maths programme recognises the achievements of primary school children and teachers in the application of science and maths.  Schools registered on the Discover Primary Science and Maths programme can apply for an Award of Science and Maths Excellence after they have met certain criteria for science and maths related activities. To qualify for the awards, schools must keep a log of their science and maths related activities that they have undertaken throughout the year. Schools get credit for visiting Discover Science Centres, inviting speakers to the school to talk about science and maths and displaying their work and other explorative activities.  Credits are also awarded for taking part in a number of other DSE programmes including the Greenwave Project , a mass science project tracking the arrival of spring across Ireland, as well as completing activities related to the Science Week 2011 theme -The Chemistry of Life. All of the steps within the programme conform with the primary science curriculum and the initiative offers teachers an interactive and vibrant classroom tool to stimulate their class in science and maths learning. Discover Primary Science and Maths are partnering with healthcare company Abbott for this year’s Awards. Abbott will sponsor science equipment vouchers for 60 schools, randomly picked from those who achieve an award.

Commenting on the launch of the 2012 awards, Dr. Graham Love, Director, Discover Science and Engineering said; “It is vital that we inspire children at a young age to embrace and appreciate science and maths. The Discover Primary Science and Maths Awards provide an interactive platform which allows children to have fun with science and maths and discover just how colourful and engaging they can be. These children will be the future scientists, mathematicians and engineers that our economy today craves.”

There are five key steps that need to be completed by a school to receive an award;

  • Provide evidence that the school took part in the Greenwave Project and two other hands-on activities relating to the Energy and Forces strand of the Science Curriculum
  • Visit one of the Discover Primary Science and Maths Discover centres (such as Armagh Planetarium)
  • Attend or hold a science event
  • Give three examples of how the school integrated maths into their science work
  • Complete one activity relating to the Science Week 2011 theme – The Chemistry of Life

Speaking at the launch of the awards, Sean Sherlock, Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Department of Education & Skills with responsibility for Research & Innovation said: “The growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects is extremely important for the recovery of our economy and must be promoted at a young age to recruit and encourage the youth of Ireland to progress their skills in these areas.  Initiatives such as the Discover Primary Science and Maths Awards offer our children an engaging platform to kick start this growth and interest and I encourage as many schools as possible to get involved with this fun and exciting project.”

Schools must submit their intention to apply for the awards before 24 March and log books must be with the Discover Primary Science and Maths Office by 27 April 2012. For more information visit

(Article based on DPS press release)


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