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Posted: 11 June 2007

Primary school students discover a world of science at UCD

Over 700 pupils from more than 23 primary schools across Ireland attended a recent magical science show at UCD, Belfield. The explosive, action-packed show involved forty science experiments from investigating fuels of the future, to experimenting with the pull of gravity, to exploring static electricity and chemical reactions.

“This was our first experience of the magic science show,” said Orlaith Veale, a primary school teacher from Scoil Náisiúnta An Dea-Aoire, Churchtown, who attended the event with her students. “It’s great to see educational material presented in such an entertaining and enjoyable way.”

Students from St Colmcille’s National School Donaghmede examine the 170 million year old fossil from the UCD School of Geological Sciences
Students from St Colmcille’s National School Donaghmede examine the 170 million year old fossil from the UCD School of Geological Sciences

Throughout the show, with the assistance of scientist Splooz (Susan McGrath), the primary school students tested mystifying experiments of canon fire, optical illusions, coloured flames, musical bottles, disappearing water and alka seltzer explosions.

Aoife O’Mahony of STEPS - Science Technology and Engineering Programme for Schools – who brought the show to UCD said: “The enthusiasm young pupils have for science and engineering at an early age is palpable at events like this. It is crucial for us to encourage and support this interest to ensure that Ireland continues to have science and engineering graduates who will create our future.”


At the Discovery Primary Science (DPS) awards of science excellence from 5-6 June at Croke Park, UCD Science and the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB) hosted an interactive pod for students. At the event, students from 84 Dublin schools were presented with awards in recognition of the knowledge gained through the DPS programme during the course of the school year. The DPS programme was developed to help primary school children understand the extensive part that modern science plays in their everyday lives.

Students and their teachers queued at the UCD stand to examine a 170 million year old ammonite fossil and to discover the magic of magnetism. The students also took park in a molecular modelling challenge where they had the opportunity to understand the elements that make up some common molecules before learning about our senses and how germs spread.

Commenting on the awards, Peter Brabazon, Director of the Discover Science & Engineering programme, said: "Dublin Primary School students have done their county proud. Their awards are testament to the increased quality of science education in primary schools in Dublin.”


Science at UCD

University College Dublin has the largest science programme in Ireland, providing degree courses in biological, chemical, geological, mathematical, physical and computer sciences.

The College of Life Sciences and the College of Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences provide teaching of the highest quality and carry out research of the highest international standard. There are 26 single honours degrees available as well a range of joint degrees comprising two science subjects. For more information visit

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