SEEKING MIDLANDS SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS AROUND THE GLOBE

Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D. recently launched a new Local Diaspora Toolkit or practical guide for Local Authorities and local and community groups to assist in the development of strategies for local diaspora engagement. The Toolkit seeks to develop the potential for communities and counties in Ireland to reach out to their own local diasporas. It will facilitate the building of new relationships with the global Irish to benefit local and regional development and it profiles some of the best and most successful initiatives already underway throughout the country.

Earlier this year, local development company Atlantic Corridor launched a new diaspora-based framework for the midlands and in keeping with its overall strategic aims, the focus will be placed upon trying to create a two-way diaspora dialogue and build global connections within the scientific and technology community.

Speaking about the launch of this toolkit, CEO of Atlantic Corridor, Jackie Gorman said,

‘I was delighted to see Atlantic Corridor featured as a case study in the new Local Diaspora Toolkit. We are already actively engaged in forging partnerships internationally and will be increasingly focused on leveraging the growing population of expatriates who wish to connect with local development. Our primary emphasis here will be on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and on the promotion of STEM skills, which can be used as an excellent economic development and marketing selling point for this region. This is a key focus for our work and we are pleased to note that plans are already afoot to bring Dr. Mary Guinan of the University of Nevada to Ireland next year promote the value of STEM education in local development.’

The ability to engage globally with scientists who have a connection to Ireland could represent significant potential for the work Atlantic Corridor is already trying to do in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, NUI, Maynooth and other academic and corporate partners in the Midlands region.

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘Irish people are making vast ongoing contributions in all fields of science, technology, engineering and maths around the world and as the positive messages about Ireland’s economic recovery spreads internationally, we are working to source STEM professionals with a Midlands connection. We want to drive and foster their desire to make a difference back home and our plan is to facilitate introductions that can draw upon their experience and expertise in a more coordinated way that will benefit skills and research in the region. Our aim is to grow our network of scientists in order to be able to facilitate discussion and improve the quality and content of events that we roll out throughout the year such as the successful Midlands Science Festival and our range of programmes in schools and public events. The Midlands has a rich heritage in STEM through mathematicians such as Gerald Gardner and astronomers such as Kenneth Edgeworth, who was actually the first person to propose that Pluto wasn’t a planet. Great discoveries have come from the Midlands in the past and this past provides a firm basis from which to market and grow development in the region now and in the future, through skills and education.’

If successful, Atlantic Corridor would like to see members of this group becoming mentors to Irish students and also promoters of the achievements of Irish and Midlands scientists globally by contributing to skills, education outreach and research links in the region. If you have an interest in being involved in the development of this network, please get on touch by phoning 05793 23902 or emailing jgorman@atlanticcorridor.ie

Atlantic Corridor Case Study Features in Government Diaspora Toolkit

mary GThis week, Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D. launched a new Local Diaspora Toolkit or practical guide for Local Authorities and local and community groups to assist in the development of strategies for local diaspora engagement.

Commissioned by Minister Deenihan and developed by Professor Liam Kennedy and Dr. Madeleine Lyes of the UCD Clinton Institute, the Toolkit seeks to develop the potential for communities and counties in Ireland to reach out to their own local diasporas.
It will facilitate the building of new relationships with the global Irish to benefit local and regional development and it profiles some of the best and most successful initiatives already underway throughout the country.

Speaking about the launch of this toolkit, CEO of Atlantic Corridor, Jackie Gorman said,

‘I was delighted to see Atlantic Corridor featured as a case study in the new Local Diaspora Toolkit. We are already actively engaged in forging partnerships internationally and will be increasingly focused on leveraging the growing population of expatriates to effectively promote economic development in the Midlands and indeed nationally.

Our primary emphasis here will be on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and on the promotion of STEM skills, which can be used as an excellent economic development and marketing selling point for this region. This is a key focus for our programme area of work and we are pleased to note that plans are already afoot to bring Dr. Mary Guinan of the University of Nevada to Ireland next year promote the value of STEM education in local development.’

The full toolkit can be viewed below:

http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/News/Government_Press_Releases/Local_Diaspora_Toolkit.pdf

Some sweet memories..

Science of Choc 1Not that we are allowed to pick favourites, but this was a very special event indeed! You can listen to podcast below to find out more about why we love chocolate and the science behind it!

https://m.soundcloud.com/midlands103official/did-you-know-that-eating-chocolate-could-reduce-your-blood-pressure

That’s it for 2015!

science of choc prof pic 4We would like to thank each and everyone who attended one of our many Midlands Science Festival events either as a speaker, performer or spectator. We would like to thank Science Foundation Ireland and all of our other sponsors and partners, volunteers, schools, venue providers, media and everyone who helped to make this year our biggest festival yet.

That’s it for this year from ourselves and Curious Kim for now but don’t forget that science is all around us, it can be fun and exciting as well as educational and informative and so essential!

We have enjoyed every minute and hope you have too!

Psychology, sweet treats and Science for Breakfast!

Chco event 1 chco event 2Today we hosted a Science Week business breakfast in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone where members of the business community and the public had the opportunity to hear from two corporate speakers, Mr. Traoloch Collins, Managing Director of Athlone based multinational, Ericsson and Westmeath native, Mr. Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner of PwC Ireland. They talked about the importance of STEM skills for the future of Irish society and the economy.

Then it was over to Kilbeggan to sample some delicious handmade chocolate and learn all about the science of one of our favourite treats with toxicologist and Offaly native, Dr Craig Slattery! We had more career talks, more Reptile Zoo school visits, marine life workshops and we were delighted to welcome back Famelab to Mountmellick library where students learned about science communication and were informed and entertained by a number of science experts in a fun and engaging way.

We are also delighted to host a free public event in Athlone Little Theatre tonight  – The Mind, The Body, The Universe. At this event we will hear from experts from the world of medicine, psychology and astronomy.

We had sincerely hoped to brave the weather tomorrow for an ecology walk and an evening of stargazing to finish off a wonderful festival but the forecast is just too bad so both events have to be postponed but please be patient with us and we will rearrange for them to take place as soon as possible!

Chocolate Dreams..

chocolate image 1We are hugely excited about visiting a wonderful local business, ‘Kilbeggan Handmade Chocolate’  tomorrow when our favourite pharmacologist and toxicologist Dr Craig Slattery will come to the Midlands to talk about what we consider two very important things; coffee and chocolate ..here’s an article he penned for the Journal to give you a taster..

http://www.thejournal.ie/science-of-coffee-and-chocolate-2413259-Nov2015/

Fun all the way today!!

Today we welcomed Declan Holmes and his science show to a lucky school in Laois this year! The show is a fun and engaging way for children to learn about science in ways they can easily related to. It began with heating and friction, seeing the colour of materials change with heat. Students found out how planes fly with hovering sweets and balloon helicopters. Then came exploring rockets and air cannons. Who could ask for more when it comes to blending education and learning with fun and excitement?!

Pupils got to learn about a range of sea creatures with underwater experts Marine Dimensions while the Science Circus also rolled into town to provide some science entertainment for a group of pupils in Athlone where power drills, basketballs and smelly socks were just some of the bizarre props that were used to entertain pupils whilst also teaching them about science in an engaging way.

The Exploration Dome made its way to Coolderry today and provided a fantastic interactive astronomy journey right on their own doorstep! The mobile planetarium dome is 6 metres in diameter and can sit up to 45 children. The shows began with an introduction to Astronomy followed by a full dome film with various different subjects such as earth science, Maths and Astronomy. It can be difficult for young children to take in lots of information around these types of subjects but the Exploration Dome makes it fun and keeps children engaged.

Thursday really has been a day of sheer entertainment at this year’s Midlands Science Festival and its not over yet! We are licking our lips as tomorrow we are having chocolate-Yum!!

Rounding up some Junior Einsteins and Words of Wisdom on Science Careers

scoil mhuire je 3Wednesday’s agenda was action packed again with a whole range of different science activities and events on offer across the region. We kicked off the day by welcoming back our friends from the Junior Einstein Science Club to Scoil Mhuire in Tullamore (photo)before heading to Athlone where a lucky group of students got to visit the fire station and learn all about the science of firefighting and the equipment involved in making it all happen.

We then enjoyed some informative careers talk from Women in Technology’s Laura Tobin and also from NUI, Maynooth’s Biology expert, Dr. Sean Doyle who visited Athlone Community College today.

It was down to Tubberclair next where Sustainable Energy Ireland delivered more workshops, this time for primary level and we also enjoyed some more solar weather fun today with TCD. The pupils of Killeagh NS enjoyed some fun and exciting activities provided by the Geological Survey of Ireland! We finished off the day in Longford where we held a public event all around ‘The science of heart health’ in association with Abbott Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation.

Dr.Eddie Provides Valuable Advice to Packed Audiences

We were delighted to have Dr.Eddie Murphy in Tullamore for the day yesterday where he gave four talks over the course of the day and provided people of all ages with tools and tips on how to reduce stress and anxiety and therefore lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Thanks to all who came to the Tullamore Harriers on such  aeddie and kim cold, wet night. It isn’t possible for us to run successful public events without you!

27 Science Week Puns

eddie and kimSource: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/discovery/2015/11/10/science-week-puns-chemistry-jokes-memes