School level

Competitions, Awards and Challenges

Its not all about winning but If you're not in, you can't win! As a nation, we are extremely lucky with the number of competitions and awards available to students. Have a look through the below details of competitions open to schools. Advise your students to enter competitions as an extra-curricular activity or integrate the competition/awards into your scheme of work.

- BT Young Scientist

Closing Date: 25th September 2018                           Exhibition takes place 9th-12th January 2019

BT Young Scientist competition is open to second level students from Ireland, north and south, who are aged between 12 and 19 years on 31st October 2018. You can enter your project as an individual or share the work as a group entry. A group is defined as comprising of no more than three people from the same school and the same age grouping. Categories include;

Student Information      Teacher Information      Register Here

- Real Life Science


Closing Date: 19th October 2018                           Winning videos will be announced during Science Week 2018

BT Young Scientist competition is open to second level students from Ireland, north and south, who are aged between 12 and 19 years on 31st October 2018. You can enter your project as an individual or share the work as a group entry. A group is defined as comprising of no more than three people from the same school and the same age grouping. Categories include;

Student Information      Teacher Information      Register Here

- One Good Idea


Closing Date: Propose your campaign by 16th November                          

This annual SEAI school competition is open to primary and post primary schools. Every year students are asked to come up with One Good Idea that will save energy/help tackle climate change/inspire lifestyle changes in the people around them. Students' campaign should show people in your community how your One Good Idea can make a difference to them, their pocket and our planet.

 More Information         Topics           How to Enter

- SciFest


Closing Date: 8th March 2019                      

SciFest@College is a series of one-day STEM fairs for second-level students. The fairs take place at 16 regional venues – the 14 Institutes of Technology, DCU and St Mary’s College, Derry – each year between March and June.  The fairs are free to enter and there are lots of awards to be won at each venue

 Teacher Information         Student Information           Entry Form

- Google Science Fair


Closing Date: 12.2018                          Global finalists announced 04.2019

Google Science Fair enables students to showcase their innovative and creative problem-solving projects on a global platform. It enables 13 to 18 year-olds to have a platform for their ideas and take them further. It also reinforces key skills that they already use every day - creativity, communication, problem solving, scientific thinking - and they can get rewarded for it with fantastic prizes.

Open to all, globally, students can enter by themselves or in groups of up to three - you could choose to group students for the sessions at the beginning, or once they have thought of ideas, if similarities arise. 

 Teacher Resources         More Information     

- Vex Robiotics EDR 


Closing Date: To be confirmed                           

VEX Robotics is an exciting and fun program where school children from 8-18 years learn about Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) while having fun! They design, build, program and compete with their robot in a spectacular competition organised by Dell. In addition to STEM the students acquire other skills such as project management, presentation skills, teamwork, leadership, PR and much more.

 2018-2019 Challenge         Awards           Register Here

- EPA Story of Stuff


Closing Date: To be confirmed                           

The EPA runs a video competition for second level students called The Story of Your Stuff. To enter, students get creative and visually tell us about an everyday object and its life story - how it's made and what it becomes when it's recycled.

 More Information         Rules         

- Clean Tech Comp


Registration begins in November                            2019 Dates coming soon                 

The Clean Tech Competition is a unique, worldwide research and design challenge for pre-college youth. The program encourages scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy sources. Each year, the Clean Tech Competition addresses an issue that is grounded in core technological competency areas and focuses on the next great engineering challenges. The competition is designed to foster a deeper understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related concepts, recognize outstanding talent, and prepare the next generation of globally competitive innovators.

 2018 Winners         Paper Submission           How to Enter

-John Hooper Medal


Registration by 25th January 2019                  Submit posters by 1st March 2019        

Run by the CSO, the John Hooper medal is awarded to the best poster designed by students to summarise their findings from a statistical research project they have undertaken. The national competition is open to teams of two to three students, up to 18 years old. Teachers register the teams. 

 2018 Winners           More Information

- App4Gaps


Registration by January 2019             

Apps4Gaps is an international competition aimed at encouraging young people to provide ideas and create applications that will provide innovative and fresh ways of exploiting the Open Data freely available from on the internet that could benefit society in such areas as transport, housing, planning, education, communications and health.
In the process, participants will learn or increase their skills in computer programming, utilise the opportunities presented by Open Data, and be challenged in creating technologies such as mobile apps that can exploit the economic and social material presented.

 Rules               How to Enter

- IrMO


Registration TBC     Competition takes place 11th - 22nd July 2019 in Bath, UK             

The Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) is a national mathematics contest for secondary school students. Training for this contest takes place at a number of mathematics enrichment centre saround the country. The performance of students in the IrMO is used to identify a team of up to six students who will represent Ireland at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), a prestigious international mathematics competition.

 More Information               

- AIB Build a Bank


2019 Dates coming soon             

The AIB Build A Bank Challenge links directly to the Business Studies Curriculum and is an excellent, practical preparation for learning about setting up and running a business. Participating students will be involved in all aspects of banking such as sourcing new customers, encouraging regular savings and providing ongoing customer service – everything it takes to run a bank! Students will learn a variety of life-long skills including interview experience, presentation skills, relationship management, financial education and marketing techniques.

 More Information               

- FanTAXtic


Will be launched in February 2019             

FanTAXtic is a competition specifically for TY students where students work together in teams to research a topical tax issue, and present their findings and opinions in a short video!  FanTAXtic 2019 will launch in February 2019. Check back in early January 2019 to find out more!

 More Information               



Online registration opens in September 2018    Registration closes in November 2018      Showcase & award ceremony in May 2019            

ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) is an all-Ireland environmental awards programme that recognises and rewards young people who raise environmental awareness and improve the environment. The programme is open to any group of young people in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland from 10-18 years of age.

 Timeline for Competition            Register Here      

- Concern Debates


Dates and venues for the coming year will be announced once teams have registered.          

The Concern Debates have been running for 33 years, involving over 50,000 post-primary students in Ireland. Debating topics related to global development encourages participants to explore and be challenged by some of the world’s most important issues.
To take part in this year’s secondary schools debating competition, please fill out the form below. Please note that by registering, you are not guaranteed a place. A Concern Debates staff member will be in touch to let you know if your application is successful.

 More Information       Resources         Register Here 

- Enterprise Award


The deadline for all national finalist student enterprises to have their business reports submitted is 8th April 2019.
National Student Enterprise Final is set for the 3rd May 2019 at Croke Park  

The Student Enterprise Programme is Ireland’s biggest student enterprise competition. Each year over 23,000 secondary students from 480 schools take part in this Programme by setting up and running their own student business.
Students get to find out what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur and get a practical, hands-on taste of real life business.

 More Information           How to Enter       

- YSI Challenge


Applications now open for 2018/2019          

Social Innovation Action Programme (Junior & Senior) is a youth led, team based, action programme for young people aged. Working in teams, young social innovators are challenged to identify a social issue affecting them, their communities or wider society and to come up with and implement creative solutions. Each year, thousands of young people throughout Ireland tackle issues such as health, equality, poverty, exclusion, human rights, safety, the environment.

 2018 Young Social Innovator of the Year             Sign Up for 2018/2019     



Event: 15 November 2018 Shannon Airport 

On the day of the Young Innovators event, Shannon Airport is transformed into an incredible student think-tank. Competing for their schools in groups of 8 to 10, students are asked to imagine the world 50 years on and how it will differ from today across a wide range of categories that impact our daily lives – how we Live, Work, Play, Shop, Learn and Travel. Mentors from third level institutes and leading tech companies such as Dell and Intel are assigned to each group, working with the students to help hone their entrepreneurial and innovation skills, and encouraging energetic, creative and resourceful thinking.

 More Information               




The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) in association with UCD School of Education and School of Ecomonics, NUI Galway, Maynooth University and the Irish Economic Association are partners in the Young Economist(s) of the Year National Awards for post-primary students.

The competition encourages students to research various economics topics of their choice and integrate digital media into their projects. An event then takes place to showcase and acknowledge the work of the students and their teachers in creating innovative projects across a range of economics concepts and topics.

 2018 Projects                       More Information                   

- Career Skills


Closing date is the 12th April 2019             

This exciting competition promotes the importance of Career Skills and encourages the value of career research. It gives students the chance to reflect on the skills they developed during their work experience, and how those skills can help them in their future career.

The competition is developed by CareersPortal, and is supported by the Department of Education and Skills, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), TY, LCVP and LCA Programmes. The competition is sponsored by McDonald's

 More Information               



Registration for the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad 2018/9 is now open!           

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is a national contest in which secondary school students must develop their own strategies for solving complex problems. These problems are based on fascinating languages from around the globe. AILO is run by the ADAPT Centre.

 More Information  Brochure  Student Registration  School Registration       



2019 Dates coming soon         

The 'Let's Talk about Drugs' National Youth Media Awards is an annual competition which encourages discussion of drug-related issues by inviting young people to produce a piece of original content relating to drug and/or alcohol use.

 More Information               

- Make a Wish


Runs from 10th September - 31st January 2019           

The Kids for Wish Kids Awards aims to encourage students to develop their entrepreneurial skills, build their confidence and create a greater level of social enterprise among their school community.

The competition will run from September 10th 2018 until 31st January 2019. Please email for a pack and application form.

Students can take part by developing a mini-company, running an event or taking part in a challenge; and their project can involve an individual or group effort. 

 More Information               



Closing date is 31st January 2019             

Animation Dingle are delighted to announce their continued sponsorship with Disney Channels UK and Ireland for the YAOTY Award 2019. Secondary school students from all over the Island of Ireland are invited to submit their short animated films to the national YAOTY awards. Entry is FREE. The competition is open to 4th (Transition Year), 5th and 6th year students in the Republic of Ireland.
The theme for YAOTY 2019 is "". This is completely open to the students’ interpretation.

 More Information               

- Mental Health Ireland


Closing date is the 26th October 2018            National Public Exhibition will happen on 25th March 2019.

Art & Photography Competitions are open for entries. The theme for this year is The Five Ways to Wellbeing, which encourage us to connect, take notice, keep learning, be active and give.

 More Information               

- PressPass


Register by 5th November 2018.           Closing date is 28th February 2019.          Award ceremony is in April 2019.

To date, almost 60,000 Transition Year students around the country have taken part in the PressPass initiative. Press Pass is designed specifically to enable students and teachers alike to learn all about newspapers and the writing, analysis, preparation and photography that’s involved in putting one together.

 More Information            Register Here

- Pramerica Award


Register by 4th September 2018.                 Closing date is 25th October 2018             

The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards programme recognises and rewards post-primary/second-level students for volunteer work carried out in their communities, through an exciting initiative that provides recognition and financial rewards to the finalists.

 More Information               

- European


Deadline for submitting projects is the 28 January 2019        

The European Parliament together with the ‘Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen’ have each year been inviting young people from all EU Member States to submit projects run by and for youth showing an active participation in the development of Europe. 
Projects can be submitted individually or, preferably, in groups. They should promote European and international understanding; foster the development of a shared sense of European identity and integration; and provide role models for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community.

 More Information               

- Poetry Ireland


Closing date is the 21st September 2018            

Applications are now open for Poetry Aloud, an annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary schools, organised by Poetry Ireland and the National Library of Ireland in partnership with University College Cork.  

More Information               

- Personified Award



The competition is an annual opportunity for TY Service Providers, Parents, TY Coordinators & Teachers, Guidance Counsellors, Mentors and Employers, even fellow students, to acknowledge the hard work and effort that an individual student puts into their Transition Year.

 More Information               

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