Ireland’s Best Young Science Filmmakers honoured at the Galway Science and Technology Festival in University of Galway

ReelLIFE SCIENCE Director Dr Enda O’Connell and SFI Director General Professor Philip Nolan with teacher Brian Ó Meacháin and students from Gaelscoil Riabhach, Loughrea, Co. Galway. Credit - Andrew Downes, XPOSURE
Nov 13 2023 Posted: 11:44 GMT

ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition prizes awarded to schools and youth groups in Louth, Meath, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Kerry, Donegal, Dublin and Roscommon.


From planets to penicillin and artificial intelligence to vaping, short science videos made by young Irish filmmakers have been celebrated at the 11th Annual ReelLIFE SCIENCE Awards in University of Galway.

The event took place on Sunday November 12 as part of Science Week 2023 and the 26th Galway Science and Technology Festival.

More than 400 short science films were entered into the competition created by 2,600 young science enthusiasts in 131 schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland.

Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including science communicator and engineer Dr Niamh Shaw; RTÉJr TV presenter and scientist Mark ‘The Science Guy’ Langtry; and the 2023 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Liam Carew and Shane O’Connor.


1st Prize Primary School Twenty-two talented fourth class students from Gaelscoil Riabhach in Loughrea, Co. Galway, along with their teacher Brian Ó Meacháin, won the €1,000 first prize for their video ‘Creatha Talún’ explaining earthquakes and visualising volcanoes.

Runners-up Primary School Fourth class students from Lissivigeen National School, Killarney, Co. Kerry brought us on a trip around the solar system in ‘The Science Video’, while students from Abbey Primary School from Boyle, Co. Roscommon finished third with a history of penicillin in ‘The Messy Mistake that Changed the World’.

1st Prize Post-Primary – Gabriel McCrystal, Shaun Irimpan and Frankie Zak, transition year students from Coláiste Na Mí, Navan, Co. Meath, dramatised the effects of vaping in young people in ‘This is Bob’ and claimed the €1,000 first prize.

Runners-up Post-Primary - Mahveen Farooq and Olivia Penfold from Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny answered the question ‘Is There a Connection Between Handedness and Dominant Eyes?’, while James Molloy from Belvedere College, Dublin was awarded third place, for his project ‘Using AI to Diagnose X-Rays’.  

1st Prize Youth Organisation - Young filmmaker and musician Arden Oakes, from Grow Music, Dundalk, Co. Louth, won the €1,000 youth group prize for his video ‘How the Ear Works’.

Runners-up Youth Organisation – Bruff Scout Group, Limerick came second for ‘The Science of Scouting Burns and how to treat them’, while third place went to Arranmore Island Foróige Club, Co. Donegal who coded a ‘Dancing Robot’.

Special Category Awards

Bandonbridge National School, Bandon, Co. Cork

Junior Scientists Award

Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Co. Mayo

Best Acting Award

Sooey National School, Sooey, Co. Sligo

Best Costumes Award

Bullaun National School, Loughrea, Co. Galway

Teamwork Award

King's Hospital School, Dublin 20

Science and Me Award

Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ, Limerick

Animation Award

Alexandra College, Dublin 6

Best Science Song

Loreto College, Dublin 2

Being Green Award

Erris Foróige Youth Service, Belmullet, Co. Mayo

Comedy Award

Foróige Eastside Youth Service, Galway

Science in Real Life Award


All of the winning videos can be viewed at

Addressing the finalists at the event via video message, competition judge Dr Niamh Shaw said: “I have every faith that we have a very healthy future ahead of us because we have a country full of really great science explainers. Never lose that passion that you have to share how you understand science and how you see the world.”

The ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland to engage with science and technology while developing their communication and digital skills, by producing short educational videos for the public.

Since being launched in 2013 by a team of scientists from the University of Galway College of Science and Engineering, this challenge has been met by over 26,000 young people, supported by teachers and staff in 750 schools and youth groups.

ReelLIFE SCIENCE Founding Director Dr Enda O’Connell said: “Congratulations to all the winners, but also to every young person who demonstrated their passion for science and science communication by taking part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE this year. A special word of thanks to all the teachers and youth workers who nurture this passion, and through these videos, engage, inform and inspire the public.”

ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, the CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway, the Cell EXPLORERS programme, and Foróige.


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