16th June, 2023: The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, announced today that 422 primary schools will be awarded the 2023 Curious Minds Award, celebrating primary schools across Ireland that have adopted innovative approaches to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) learning and engagement.

Announcing the 2023 Curious Mind Awards, Minister Simon Harris, TD, said: “I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s SFI Curious Minds Awards. I want to congratulate all involved for their hard work and enthusiasm. Through programmes such as the Curious Minds Awards, we see first-hand teachers and schools empowering curiosity through a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to STEM learning.”

“The high level of engagement this year can be credited to the schools and teachers who have put effort into giving their students access to STEM in a fun, interactive and educational way.”

The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) programme, run in conjunction with the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO), aims to increase interest in STEM among primary school students, parents, and teachers nationwide in a fun and interactive way.

The awards were granted for a wide range of innovative and engaging STEM activities from investigating renewable energy, growing vegetables, mini-beast hunts, learning about materials and maths through baking, design and make challenges, marble runs, enhancing their technology skills through coding, and using STEM to solve everyday problems.

Primary Schools received awards in three categories: The Silver Award, recognising schools entering for the first time; the Gold Award, for schools further along their STEM journey; and the Platinum Award, for schools who have achieved previous awards and want to integrate STEM into the community further.

This year, 48 schools received the Silver Award, 334 schools achieved the Gold Award, and 40 schools accomplished the Platinum Award.

Commenting on the awards, Professor Philip Nolan, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland said: “At Science Foundation Ireland, we are committed to making science accessible to all. Introducing students to science in a practical, hands-on, enjoyable and interactive way, tapping into and nurturing their natural curiosity, is a core objective for SFI as we continue to break down barriers to engaging young people in STEM. The Curious Minds Awards are a perfect way to motivate students’ interest in STEM in the classroom. It is extremely positive to see so many primary schools taking part, and I congratulate all the teachers, schools and parents for their commitment to STEM.”

Registration for the next Academic Year SFI Curious Minds Awards will open in September 2023. Registration  Summer courses and   CPD courses for 2023/2024 are open now. For more information about the SFI Curious Minds programme, the Awards, CPD, and inquiry-based resources please visit www.curiousminds.ie  or contact the team on curiousminds@sfi.ie.