Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, yesterday announced that 549 Irish primary schools will receive the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) Award of Science and Maths Excellence.

Of the 549 recipients, 25 schools will receive their 10th Award of Science and Maths Excellence, and will be presented with a prize from Abbott Ireland.

The programme is aimed at sparking curiosity in the minds of young children to give them an appreciation and love for science and maths, with the ambition of choosing science related subjects for Leaving Certificate and ultimately setting them on a course to study a related course at third level.

To obtain the prestigious DPSM award, primary schools are required to complete a range of activities including using technology in the classroom, visiting a DPSM Discover Centre or hosting a science event. All of the participating schools are evaluated by a panel of adjudicators, who decide whether the school should receive an award.

Niamh Lyons, director of communication, education and public engagement for Science Foundation Ireland said: “Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Primary Science and Maths primary programme aims to help large numbers of children understand and participate in science and maths in a way that is both fun and relevant to their everyday lives.”

“The encouragement around science and maths that we give at home and in school in these early years has the potential to spark a curiosity that could end up in a lifelong interest or career for many. I am delighted today to be able to congratulate the increasing number of schools from across the country involved in the programme and would really encourage other schools to join us in helping primary school children to discover the relevance of maths and science to them.”

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