Irish Comedian Dara Ó Briain Helps Discover Ireland’s Best Short Science Videos

Comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain
Nov 13 2018 Posted: 12:20 GMT

The winners of the nationwide ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition were announced as part of national Science Week 2018. Winners of the €1000 awards were Powerscourt National School, Co. Wicklow, Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny, and Lackagh Foróige group from Co. Galway.

Winning videos were selected from a total of 175 entries from 80 schools and community groups around Ireland, by a panel of judges including aeronautical engineer and astronaut-candidate Norah Patten, BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year 2018, Simon Meehan and comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain, who said: “I was delighted to be a guest judge in this year's competition and see how much enthusiasm, knowledge and energy is pouring out of Science classes across the country!"

A group of 24 third and fourth class students from Powerscourt National School gave an entertaining and educational account of the body’s largest organ in ’Science and Me: The Skin’. Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny transition year students, Emer Tobin and Katherine Morrow, depicted the life of Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery of the structure of DNA. Lackagh Foróige group member Sean Janson demonstrated the ‘Science of Smashing’ with equations, experiments and personality.

The competition is organised by NUI Galway and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at the University.

ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges Irish schools and community groups to communicate science and technology via engaging and educational short videos. Since being launched in 2013 by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of volunteer scientists, this challenge has been met by more than 10,000 participants in 350 schools and groups around Ireland.

Special guest judge Norah Patten said of the programme: “I think this is a fantastic initiative because the students are not only learning about a scientific topic - they are also developing skills to communicate what they’ve learnt. These types of hands on, practical projects will be really valuable as they progress through to the next stage of their career.”

Other prize winners included:

  • Gaelscoil Riabhach from Loughrea, Co. Galway
  • Scoil Mhuire gan Smál from Carlow
  • Mary’s College Galway
  • Skerries Community College from Dublin
  • Westside Youth Project from Galway
  • Galway Parkinsons Association

All videos can be viewed at  and will be shown to the general public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday, 25 November.


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