Getting Started - The Important Stuff


  1. The projects are to be completed either in teams (with a maximum of four students) or alternatively projects can be completed by individuals.
  2. The competition is open to 4th, 5th, and 6th class students.
  3. Students whose projects involve studies of live animals must ensure that such studies are carried out in conformity with the statutory regulations. Copies of the regulations are available from the Department of Health and Children, Hawkins House, Dublin 2.
  4. Agar plates containing micro-organisms cannot be exhibited.
  5. Projects must contain a project book and also a visual display for the school exhibition.
  6. Visual Display- Students will have to display their project on no more than 8 A4 pages as it is only to summarise the project. This is so that these pages can be arranged on the tables at your school display. Any other items that would help the display should be included if possible, for example, any pieces of equipment or models.
  7. Project book- should follow the Project book guidelines (download here)
  8. The project book cover should be the specially provided project form which captures all necessary information (download here)


The idea of the projects is to encourage students to work scientifically and learn by investigating. Students should work as scientists as they investigate and explore their physical and natural surroundings. They should apply skills of enquiry during this investigative work:

  1. Observing
  2. Asking questions
  3. Suggesting
  4. Explanations
  5. Predicting outcomes
  6. Planning investigations
  7. Experiments to test ideas and drawing conclusions

Designing and making is another aspect of the project development and gives students the opportunity to apply scientific ideas to everyday situations and problems. Students are encouraged to explore, plan, and make models and functional objects in order to solve practical problems.

The key elements of Working Scientifically and Designing and Making should be refined within one of four project categories:

Living Things

1. Plant and Animal Life
2. Human Life

Energy and Forces

1. Light
2. Sound
3. Heat
4. Magnetism and Electricity
5. Forces


1. Properties and Characteristics of Materials
2. Materials and Change

Environmental Awareness and Care

1. Science and the Environment
2. Caring of my locality

The School Level Exhibition and Judging

  1. The school exhibition should take place in your school at a date of your choosing (Between October 10th and November 30th). Schools should be responsible for the organisation of their own exhibitions with judges (if needed) and prizes being provided by Intel.
  2. A School Project List should be completed by the school in advance of the exhibition capturing all projects that will be entered into the event – Download the form
  3. Exhibition location is at the discretion of each school but for larger numbers of participating students a location such as a school hall/gym is most suitable. For smaller groups a classroom is adequate.
  4. The judges will collect the project book from each group at the start of the exhibition to get a better understanding of student’s projects.
  5. They will also visit each stand (visual display) during the exhibition to talk to the students involved about their projects.
  6. Judges will be scoring projects based on the following criteria:
     - Project Book (content/scientific evaluation 40 marks
     - Project Book (presentation/visual impact) 30 marks
     - Involvement, Oral Presentation, and Teamwork 30 marks
  7. The judges will announce the winners of the exhibition at the award ceremony which will take place on the day of the exhibition.
  8. A 1st and 2nd prize team will be chosen in every school. The judges’ decision will be final.

The Prizes

There are a number of fantastic prizes available to participating schools: 

  1. There is a €1000 monetary grant for the school which has the overall Grand final winning project.
  2. Every school taking part receives a commemorative plaque.
  3. Every student taking part receives a goody bag and certificate.
  4. Every member of the winning project teams receives science related prizes.

Checklist for Teachers

1. Register school before October 5th
2. Allow students time to work on projects Plan school exhibition
3. Fill out 'School Project List'
4. Notify Intel if you need judges
5. Hold exhibition between October 8th - November 23rd
6. Attend Regional Final with winning project

Checklist for Projects

1. Decide on project subject / align with competition categories
2. Work on project
3. Complete project report book (20 pages) follow guidelines
4. Fill out project book cover
5. Create visual display (max 8 A4 pages).

Use of Photographs

By giving consent to use of photographs (see project entry form) a parent/guardian grants to INTEL Corporation (“INTEL”), or anyone authorized by INTEL, the irrevocable right to use any photograph taken of their child while he/she is participating in Mini Scientist. Such photographs may be used on the Mini Scientist website and in related marketing materials, without media, time, use, or geographic limitation. It is understood that INTEL is not obligated to use the photograph in any way.