SciFest@TCPID in association with Abbott Ireland
Our first ever meeting with Abbott Ireland took place in March 2017. Over a cup of coffee the idea of running a student science project with their partner SciFest was first suggested by Daragh Fallon from Abbott. After meeting with Sheila and George Porter from SciFest, SciFest@TCPID was born! Our very first SciFest@TCPID student exhibition took place in May 2017 and was a huge success. This was the first time that students with intellectual disabilities had taken part in the SciFest programme.
Since the first exhibition in 2017, Abbott Ireland have provided volunteer mentors to work with the students to support them and to ensure that the students have everything that they could possibly need in order to complete their projects.
While the SciFest@TCPID programme is not a core part of the academic course and participation has always been voluntary, there has been a significant uptake each year with almost all students taking part.The support of Abbott Ireland and SciFest has been crucial to the huge success of the programme. Our students are supported by the TCPID team and by mentors from Abbott who support them in taking a project idea from start to completion over the course of 5 weeks. Students choose a science project relating to a topic that they are interested in, for example sports, music, food etc.
Every year, we watch the students come up with ideas, develop their projects and grow in confidence over the 5 weeks. The final exhibition each year is always a huge celebration of their work and a chance for them to present their projects to a large audience.
Click on the link below to read about the first 3 years of SciFest@TCPID.
In 2022, after a break of 3 years due to the Covid pandemic, SciFest@TCPID returned bigger and better than ever! The exhibition took place in the stunning venue of Regent House. The students were thrilled to have a number of VIP guets attending the event, including the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Minister Simon Harris and the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Linda Doyle. The students were also very excited to be interviewed by Mary Regan from RTE News about their projects. The item made it onto the RTE News: Six One broadcast later that day.
You can view the news piece at this link: https://www.rte.ie/news/2022/0602/1302724-third-level-education-autism/
Here are a couple of videos which give a sense of the SciFest@TCPID magic!