Discover Primary Science and Maths

Apply for an Award of Science and Maths Excellence

Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science & Maths Award.

Each year we are amazed by the incredible STEM work going on in primary schools all over the country. Teachers tell us that the Award is a great way of involving everyone in science in the school. In June, we presented 593 schools with the SFI Discover Science & Maths Awards. You’ll find full details of how to apply for an Award in the guide enclosed. There are two levels of Award, so whether you are starting out or have already achieved an Award, there will be one to suit you.

You can now register your school’s intention to apply for an Award in 2018.

As a result of participating in the SFI Discover Science and Maths Awards:

  • 89% teachers reported an increase in school science activities
  • 81% teachers reported that parents are more aware of science activities in the school
  • 79% teachers reported an increase in science engagement at the whole-school level
  • 75% teachers reported a stronger sense of team-spirit amongst teachers in their schools
  • 67% teachers reported that they are now more comfortable teaching science
Top tips from participating schools are:
  • Take a whole-school approach - The awards criteria are part of the science and maths curriculum anyway but it is a great incentive to receive an award for your efforts.
  • Start Early and keep a record of the work being done throughout the year.
  • Make the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Awards a retained item on the staff meeting agenda.
  • Share the workload and assign different tasks to different classes – Remember if each class meets one or two of the criteria the load is shared!
  • For a detailed guide to each step of the awards criteria, see the Awards Toolkit.

Each year it is so encouraging to see both schools that have really captured a whole school approach to engaging students in science, and schools that are starting this journey with a few of their classes.

This year to ensure we continue to recognise all this effort, two awards will be available as follows:

  • A Certificate of STEM work in School
  • A Plaque of STEM Excellence for deeper engagement, whole school involvement and external science engagement


Suitable for schools starting out on the STEM journey. A minimum of two classes must participate.


Involve most classes i.e. more than half the number of classes in the school in some aspect of the steps outlined below e.g. investigations, using ICT and maths, trips, speaker visits, presenting at or attending the science open day in the school or other events.

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 and maths in the classroom and if they are divided out between classes then it's not too onerous for anyone!


From November 2017 until March 16th 2018 you can register your school’s intention to apply for a Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science & Maths Award here on this website. This is to give us an indication of how many schools will be participating in the coming year.

Immediately after the Easter holidays you will receive an application form (if you have registered your intention to apply for an award) which must accompany your Log of Evidence.

The closing date for receipt of Logs of Evidence accompanied by the application form is 5pm on Friday 27th April, 2018.


Throughout the year, your school needs to complete the 5 steps and gather evidence of this work from participating classes. Learn more about the 5 Steps to Awards and see examples for each step. The Awards Toolkit provides top tips on completing the steps required, compiling a Log of Evidence and providing the necessary evidence.


Logs are simply evidence that the STEM work has been carried out and that the school has completed all 5 Steps of the Award. Your log should provide only the evidence that the adjudication panel needs to demonstrate that your school meets all the criteria required. When preparing your Log of Evidence, please note the following:

  • Logs should be divided, and marked clearly, into sections as per each Step of the Criteria (e.g. Step 1 – Science, Step 2 – Technology, Step 3 - Engineering, Step 4- Maths, Step 5 – STEM Showcase).
  • The evidence included can be students’ accounts of work carried out, photos, videos, etc.
  • Logs can be paper based or electronic. For the sake of the planet we recommend electronic!
  • Digital Logs of Evidence may be sent using USB, CD or DVD or send us a URL to your school website or blog where you (or your students!) can upload the evidence.

Remember, when putting together your Log of Evidence, it is best that the work is divided out between classes so that there’s not too much work for anyone, and it is a whole school effort.


The number of schools submitting digital Logs of Evidence is increasing every year. Last year, over half of participating schools presented digital evidence. We are promoting the move towards submission of digital Logs of Evidence as they have the following benefits:

  • You are helping to save the planet.
  • Blogs and websites can be easily seen by parents and the wider school community.
  • It is more difficult to lose the Logs of Evidence as copies can be kept in the school.
  • If students upload the work on the digital media then this can count as evidence in STEP 2 – Technology.
  • Click here for a toolkit on how to submit a Digital Log of Evidence

Please note: Logs of Evidence in the coming years with an eventual phasing of out hard copy Logs of Evidence by 2019.