Almost 50 projects get access to €5m in SFI STEM outreach funding

5 Dec 2019

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A total of 47 projects will share financing worth €5m to boost public engagement with STEM.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has revealed who will gain access to the latest funding under its Discover Programme, which is designed to back projects dedicated to educating and engaging the public in STEM.

A total of 47 organisations and groups from across the country have been named as recipients this year, with funding worth a total of €5m.

Among the projects is a STEM hub in Ireland’s south-east that will now look to expand and improve its offering, while the Cork Electronics Industry Association’s ‘Education to Industry’ programme will deliver maths tutorials to fifth- and sixth-year students.

The ‘STEM as Gaeilge agus Cant’ project, led by Camara Education, is also getting significant additional partner funding of €1m from the Department of Culture Heritage and Gaeltacht.

Since its launch in 2013, 440 public engagement projects have been funded under the Discover Programme, with SFI estimating that this year’s recipients will help bring STEM projects to more than 580,000 people.

“Through the SFI Discover Programme, this important investment ensures we will reach an even wider diversity of audiences, including the Traveller community, children and parents accommodated in direct provision centres, and students on the autistic spectrum,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, director of SFI’s Science for Society programme.

“Citizen ‘think-ins’ will also take place across the country to engage adult learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. This work is vital in addressing disinformation, such as common myths about vaccines, which are leading to an increase in outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles.”

Here are many of the projects funded this year as part of the Discover Programme:


  • STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme
  • Engineers Ireland Steps Programme (Engineers Ireland)
  • Let’s Find Out children’s science entertainment TV and digital series (RTÉ Jnr)
  • SciFest School STEM Fair and school competition programme
  • Pint of Science Ireland 2020 Festival
  • I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer Ireland
  • Weave – interwoven culturally responsive computational thinking (Dublin City University, IT Carlow)
  • Irish Sign Language STEM Glossary Project (DCU)
  • STEM as Gaeilge agus Cant (Camara Education)
  • Scientist-in-Training: spreading science through smartphones (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Bright Club (NUI Galway)
  • ReelLife science video competition
  • Cell Explorers (NUI Galway)
  • FameLab Ireland 2019
  • OurKidsCode family computing workshops
  • VEX Robotics (Cork Institute of Technology)
  • EIRSAT-1 Hub – Space for Engagement (University College Dublin)
  • ‘Peigi’s Adventures in Science’ Junior Infants book (UCD)
  • The Lonsdale Project theatre show (Riverbank Arts Centre CLG)
  • Career Mathways (University of Limerick)


  • Quiet Science – co-creating ASD-appropriate STEM outreach (Atlantic Corridor)
  • Investing in the Future – science capital training (Atlantic Corridor)
  • Space, Surveyors and Students: STEM and Sustainable Development Goals (Maynooth University)

South and south-east

  • South-east STEM Hub and Cluster (Waterford Institute of Technology)
  • Yes! youth engineering solutions (Foróige)
  • Rebel Yeast – immersive citizen science project (University College Cork)
  • ‘Invisible Light’ exploring the electromagnetic spectrum (Crawford Art Gallery)
  • Engaging Space (Blackrock Castle Observatory)
  • Education to Industry – the Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA)
  • Sensational STEM – sensory friendly STEM for ASD Students (Tyndall National Institute)

West and south-west

  • Engineering NorthWest (Institute of Technology Sligo)
  • SOPHia: Science outreach to promote physics to female students (UL, IT Carlow)
  • Activating the Energy Citizen on the Dingle Peninsula (Dingle 2030)
  • Curious Young Minds – Cúram SFI research centre (NUI Galway)
  • The Science Behind the Circus (Galway Community Circus)
  • Starship Earth high-altitude balloons mission project (NUI Galway)


  • Patrick’s Festival – SFI science zone at the Festival Village
  • Festival of Curiosity 2020 and 2021 – Inspiring Collaboration/Connecting Dublin
  • Voices for Vaccines (DCU)
  • Maths4all (DCU)
  • Citizens’ Think-Ins: engaging adults in stem dialogue and discussion (TCD)
  • Generations of Learning, STEAM Ahead (South Dublin Libraries, SD County Council)
  • Advanced Manufacturing: 3D printing and teacher training (UCD)
  • Music and Science: Quavers to Quadratics (National Concert Hall)

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic