Following the announcement of school closures due to COVID-19, we have extended the deadline for submission of Logs of Evidence to Wednesday 30th September 2020. If you have any queries please email primaryscience@sfi.ie

Register for an SFI Discover Science and Maths Award

You can still register your school’s intention to apply for an SFI Discover Science & Maths Award. This is to give us an indication of how many schools will be participating in the 2019/2020 academic year.

This year, all application forms must be completed using SFI’s online system (SESAME), which will require electronic approval from your principal before your final Award application can be submitted to Science Foundation Ireland.

Click here to download the guidance notes that will help you to use the online system.

After registering your intention to apply for an SFI Discover Science & Maths Award for 2019/2020, you will automatically receive an email from primaryscience@sfi.ie which contains login details for SESAME, enabling you to begin working on your application straight away. If you do not receive this email (and have checked your junk mail/spam filter), please contact primaryscience@sfi.ie for help.

Last year 87% of schools completed a digital log of evidence helping to reduce our carbon footprint associated with the Awards and we hope to build on this with your help in 2020. We would encourage schools to consider preparing a digital log of evidence rather than a hard copy. There are many fun ways to do this including creating a school blog or webpage or using programmes such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Word etc. to capture the children engaging in hands-on science investigations in school (indoors or outdoors). Your supporting URLs/documents/images etc. can then be uploaded to SESAME along with your application form.

Please note that although we will still accept paper copies of your Log of Evidence, your accompanying 2019/2020 application form MUST be completed online. Logs of Evidence will NOT be accepted by email or saved onto a USB, CD or DVD.

Your Log of Evidence should provide testimony to the DPSM adjudicators that the school has met all the criteria for the Awards. You may wish to keep a copy of ALL your school’s STEM work for your school records or to show parents. However, we only need to see that each of the five steps has been completed and we will return the Log of Evidence to your school once we have completed our assessment.

All Logs of Evidence (print and digital) should have each of the five steps (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and STEM Showcase) clearly labelled, and include a separate section for each step.

The closing date for receipt of Log of Evidence and Application Form is Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 1pm. Only application forms submitted through SESAME will be accepted. Please note that there will be no opportunity to provide additional material after your submission has been received.

We have been reviewing the situation in relation to the SFI Discover Science and Maths Award in 2019/2020 in light of recent government update on schools closures due to COVID-19.

We know many of you have been preparing to submit your applications next month.  We recognise that the school closures will impact on this, and no doubt your priorities are focused elsewhere at this time.  We are also  conscious that many teachers and pupils around the country have been working hard towards their Award since September and would hate to lose the opportunity to have these efforts recognised.  Considering all of this, and that we opened the online application process last year, we have made the following changes to the SFI Discover Science and Maths Awards this year:

  • The deadline for submitting applications has been further extended to 30th September 2020 at 1pm.  Assessment of the applications will take place in October and Science Foundation Ireland will announce the Awards shortly thereafter.
  • Under Step 1 of the Application (Science) - Applicants will not be required to provide 2 or more examples of how the children engaged in informal STEM education. However, if any class had STEM speakers, trips or took part in events like Space Week or Science Week prior to school closures, please do include evidence in your log as a record your efforts.
  • Under Step 2 of the Application (Technology) - You can include examples of how teachers are using STEM related online resources and activities to connect with pupils at home.*
  • Under Step 5 of the Application (STEM Show and Tell) - Schools will not the required to complete this step this year. If you have already shared your STEM work, please do include evidence in your log, as we value and celebrate your efforts.

* We have been sharing ideas for STEM resources and activities that children can complete online or at home on Twitter in recent months, so follow us on Twitter and spread the word to parents and the school community.

We ask you not to post any hard copies of your logs of evidence to us at this time as all SFI staff are working from home so there will not be anyone there to receive your log. We strongly encourage you to submit your log of evidence online this year, not only for the environmental reasons, but also to ensure access to the logbooks for assessment. In line with the action plan, we expect to have access to the SFI office at the time of the new deadline to receive hard copies, however this is ultimately subject to official guidance. We will update you on the reopening of the SFI offices.  

If you have any queries, please contact us at primaryscience@sfi.ie