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Second Annual SciFest@TCPID student exhibition, May 31st 2018

The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities was proud to host our second annual SciFest@TCPID student exhibition and awards on Thursday May 31st 2018. The event was held in the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin and was attended by a large number of TCPID Business Partners, staff from Trinity College Dublin, as well as our students’ families and guests.

The event was opened by Dr. Kevin Mitchell, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Science Education in Trinity College Dublin and by Professor Damian Murchan, Head of the School of Education.

SciFest @TCPID is an initiative that was developed in 2017 in association with Abbott Ireland and SciFest. The idea of the SciFest@TCPID project came about during an initial conversation with Abbott, as they wanted to provide some practical, as well as financial support to the TCPID. Abbott already work with SciFest who run science competitions throughout Ireland.

SciFest was founded over 10 years ago by Sheila and George Porter. The SciFest programme aims to encourage a love of science, technology and maths through active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning and to provide a forum for students at local, regional and national level to present and display their scientific investigations. The SciFest@TCPID exhibition in 2017 was the first time that the programme had specifically included an exhibition for students with intellectual disabilities.

Abbott Ireland provided a team of mentors to work with our students on their science projects over a six week period. The Abbott team, led by Ciara Hayes worked with the TCPID students every week and a fantastic bond developed between the mentors and the students. It was an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone involved.

The five students, Adam, Luke, Stephen, Carly and Jessica who participated in the SciFest programme in 2018 learnt a huge amount from taking part and grew significantly in confidence over the six weeks. Some of them had never studied science subjects in school so it was a big challenge for them to try something new. The SciFest exhibition showed in a small way what is possible when people are given the opportunity to fulfil their true potential.

Some of the project topics in the exhibition included 'Music Through Bones', which looked at how music can affect your mood; 'AerLuke', which looked at the origins of aircrafts and included an experiment on crafting the perfect paper airplane; 'Advancement of soccer from Pele to Ronaldo', which looked at the differences in soccer and soccer equipment over the past 50 years; 'Singing Science', which examined the vocal range differences between men and women and '#MoodFood', which looked at food flavours and included a blind taste experiment involving a number of different flavoured foods.

We are so proud of the work that has been completed this year by the five first year students who participated in SciFest@TCPID 2018. They have shown true commitment and huge enthusiasm and the resulting projects show real creativity and imagination.

The students were all presented with 'Science Excellence' awards by SciFest and Abbott Ireland.