Each year we are amazed by the incredible science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) work happening in schools across the country. The SFI Discover Science & Maths (DPSM) Awards give schools an opportunity to get much-deserved recognition for this work. As well as recognition, the Award brings a range of benefits; it provides a structure for STEM learning, raises the profile of science in the school and among parents and increases whole school collaboration.
To register for the Awards click here.
Tips from participating schools
- Start early and plan to ensure all steps of the programme will be covered. Assign different tasks to different classes - Remember if each class meets one or two of the criteria the load is shared!
- Make sure the activities are suitable and accessible to all the children in the class.
- Keep investigations and activities relevant to the children’s everyday lives and environments.
- Take photos of each experiment as evidence for your Log of Evidence. Photos and pictures can tell as much as, or more than, long written accounts.
- Create a folder on the shared drive for teachers to upload their work as it is completed.
- Set up a STEM section on the school website or blog. Teachers (or students!) can then upload evidence all through the year. Make sure to organise headings under the relevant Steps.
- Assign one member of staff responsibility for compiling and submitting the Log of Evidence.
This year to ensure we continue to recognise all this effort; three awards will be available as follows:
- A Certificate of STEM work in School
- A Plaque of STEM for deeper engagement, whole school involvement and external science engagement
- A Badge of Excellence for STEM Awareness, for schools who have a plaque and raise awareness of STEM among pupils, teachers and parents.
Registration for Awards
From the 13th October you can register your school’s intention to apply for an SFI Discover Science & Maths Award. After completing registration, you will receive an automatic email from firstname.lastname@example.org which contains login details for SESAME. If you do not receive this email (and have checked your junk mail/spam filter), please contact email@example.com for help.
The closing date to submit your DPSM Awards Application is 5pm on 29th April 2022.
Certificate of STEM
Plaque of STEM
Badge of Excellence
The Badge of Excellence for STEM Awareness is a third level of achievement that acknowledges schools that have achieved a Plaque of STEM and have also demonstrate excellence in their efforts to raise awareness of and excitement about STEM among pupils, teachers and parents/guardians.
To be Eligible to apply for a Badge of Excellence for STEM Awareness the school must have achieved a plaque of STEM at least once previously.
We hope that you and your school will participate this year. There are five steps, but we think you’ll find them helpful as a new way of bringing life to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in the classroom. Remember - if they are divided out between classes then it's not too onerous for anyone!
Completing Your Application
All application forms must be completed through Science Foundation Ireland’s online system (SESAME) this year. Click here to download the guidance notes that will help you to use SESAME.
The online system will help you to create a digital Log of Evidence by allowing you to upload evidence saved in PDF format directly to the system for each step.
Approval from your school principal will be required before your application can be submitted to Science Foundation Ireland, and your principal will be emailed a link to electronically approve your application when it is ready.
Your 2021/2022 application form MUST be completed online. No hardcopy applications will be accepted. Logs of Evidence will NOT be accepted by email or saved onto a USB, CD or DVD.
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.
Logs of Evidence
- Logs are simply evidence that the STEM work described overleaf has been carried out. Your log should provide only the evidence that the judging panel needs to demonstrate that your school meets all the criteria required.
- Logs should be divided and marked clearly into sections as per each Step of the Awards Criteria (eg Step 1 – Science, Step 2 – Technology, Step 3 - Engineering, Step 4 - Maths, Step 5 – STEM Show and Tell).
- The evidence included can be students’ accounts of work carried out, photos, videos, etc.
- Logs of Evidence can be stored on the school website or blog (remember to upload and organise evidence under the relevant Steps). Then simply include the URL in the online Awards application system.
- We have developed a DPSM Award Template that you can use to present your log of evidence for the certificate and plaque Awards:
- Digital Logs of evidence created using programmes such as MS Word, MS PowerPoint or other similar programmes saved in PDF format can be uploaded directly to the Awards online application system.
Note: While we celebrate your effort, we don’t need to see everything the school has done – just evidence that each criterion has been met.