Festival Volunteers Required!

volunteer picDo you have a passion for Science, Engineering, Technology or Maths? Are you looking for hands-on ways to gain some really useful work experience in event management or education outreach?

We are looking for volunteers to join the Midlands Science Festival Team for a variety of tasks over the coming weeks and for Science Week itself which takes place from November 8th – 15th. Roles will include facilitating public event programmes, helping out at the festival, engaging people with Science Week and creating awareness and a good overall feeling about science.

We are encouraging students, scientists, engineers, parents, community workers and leaders to contact us if this sounds like something you might enjoy. So, if you are over 18 years old, hard-working and want the chance to meet like-minded people and attend fantastic events for free, we want to hear from you!

Don’t miss an opportunity to share your excitement for this fascinating subject and remember, you don’t have to be a scientist to volunteer with us. For information please contact Jackie Gorman on 05793 23902 or by email: jgorman@atlanticcorridor.ie

The Importance of Minding your Mind..

Mental Health Week 2015 ran nationally and internationally from the 5th – 11th of October with World Mental Health Day taking place on the 10th October.

Mental Health Associations, private groups and individuals hosted a range of activities in communities all over Ireland during this time ranging from things like ‘laughter yoga’ and sound meditation to ecotherapy walks and ‘Stop Worrying’ workshops.

Although there have been positive developments in service provision in many countries, many people with these types of health difficulties can still face great difficulty in accessing the service they require.

Another key issue surrounding mental health which very sadly still remains is stigma, which can then lead to isolation.

Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. (WHO, 2007)

Mental Health is about :
•How we feel about ourselves
•How we feel about others
•How we are able to meet the demands of life.

Each and everyone of us has a role to play in mental health promotion because in one way or another it is relevant to all of us and mental well-being are basically issues of everyday life.

We will be continuing this theme during the Midlands Science Festival are delighted that Operation Transformation’s clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy will be speaking in schools and at public events for this year’s Midlands Science Festival.

Check events page for more details..

10th anniversary of world’s largest Maths festival

More than 250,000 students and adults will have taken part in at least one Maths Week event before it ends on October 18th..

Maths Week is an all-Ireland effort to raise interest in mathematics and show people, that the subject isn’t as difficult as it sometimes seems.

Maths-related events will take place across the country this week for the 10th anniversary of this festival of maths, involving all the academic institutes and many other companies and partners.

Keep an eye on the events page for some our own exciting maths related news and events during Science Week!

Do you need to Learn more about Science?

scoil mhuire ipads project2A major study published last week shows people in Ireland are generally supportive of State investment in science and believe it is important for our economic development.

The study also shows too many people feel uninformed about major science issues such as climate and energy. They also believe scientists do not listen to ordinary people.

The Science in Ireland Barometer sampled the views of more than than 1,000 people around the State and was released by Minister of State for Research and Innovation Damien English to mark the launch of Science Week 2015, which gets under way in November offering more than 800 events.

Between 83 and 88 per cent of people believe science education is important, that it will improve Ireland and that it could solve major societal challenges.

Nine out of 10 people said science was important for people’s future and almost as many said it would bring economic growth and support jobs.

However, about seven in 10 people said science was too specialised for them, that there was too much conflicting information, and that scientists didn’t listen to ordinary people.

Source: The Irish Times

Don’t miss the chance to learn more about science often is some of the most unexpected locations this year at the Midlands Science Festival!

Come on Ireland!!

Great news for sports fans – It has been predicted by a skilled mathematician that Ireland are set to will beat France in their crucial rugby confrontation this weekend.

The professor believes it will be a close victory to Ireland and the prediction is all down to a bit of maths known as “Poisson Theory”

Prof Steve Humble of Newcastle University, ran the numbers twice to come up with a victory for the boys in green. We are really excited about this news and will be cheering and singing Ireland’s Call from the top of the rooftops on Sunday!

Source-The Irish Times

Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future unveiled as this year’s theme

20 years picScience Week 2.0: Design Your Future invites people of all ages to experience science first-hand – enjoy a science demonstration, seminar or show; have fun with a science experiment at home and discover the answers to the most curious science questions with friends and family. It is an opportunity to explore and experience the wonder of science.

In this the year of Irish Design, Science Week celebrates the deep connection between science and design. Medical devices, technological appliances and research apparatus demonstrate how closely these two fields are intertwined. Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future urges young people to actively ‘Design Your Future’ by engaging with science disciplines and embarking on exciting and fulfilling careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Coordinated by SFI Discover, the education and public engagement programme of Science Foundation Ireland, Science Week will run from 8th – 15th November 2015. The week-long festival will highlight how science, technology, engineering and mathematics are fundamental to everyday life, and demonstrate STEM’s importance to the future development of our society and economy. The annual festival of events, activities, demonstrations, talks and interactive shows is thanks to the collaborative work of volunteers, teachers, researchers, scientists and fans of the wonderful world of science. Communities all around Ireland – including schools, colleges, universities, research institutes, businesses and libraries – will take part in Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future.

The Midlands Science Festival will run throughout that week and we cant wait!

Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future – be inspired, get involved and design your future

International Science Success!

We are delighted about the news that an Irish-born scientist has jointly won the 2015 Nobel Prize for medicine for work against parasitic diseases.

Donegal native William Campbell and Japanese Satoshi Omura won half of the prize for discovering a new drug, avermectin, that has helped the battle against river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, as well as showing effectiveness against other parasitic diseases.

Mr Campbell was born in Ramelton, Co Donegal in 1930 and is affiliated to Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, USA. He qualified from Trinity College Dublin with first class honours in zoology before being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where he completed a doctorate on liver fluke.

We are really excited to feature many excellent science communicators at this year’s Midlands Science Festival. Check our events page in the coming weeks to find out more!

Fun at the Fire Station!

Nuala Nally and Nathan Fire StationNathan Nally Henson and his mum Nuala enjoyed a really fun and informative visit to Athlone Fire Station ahead of this week’s National Fire Safety Week. The Midlands Science Festival team will be making a return visit to the Fire Station during Science Week to teach local pupils all about fire safety, the equipment used and the important procedures we need to know all about.

During the next visit, children will have the opportunity to ask some of the friendly Athlone fire officers questions about fire safety, get a tour of the facility, see the engines and get a feel for how it all works when the station gets a call out.

Fire safety begins at home..Here are some simple tips to teach children..

Create an easy to follow escape plan and a safe meeting place outside your home.

Practice fire safety and keep your home safe! Ensure children know about the dangers. It can be simple things like making sure they aren’t too close to the hob while something is cooking or keeping candles out of reach if lit. The majority of fires within the home begin in the kitchen.

Install Smoke Detectors! Statistics show that more than half of all fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms, and nearly three quarters of fire deaths occur in homes without alarms or with non-functioning alarms.
And don’t forget to test them! Make sure the batteries are good and that the smoke detector itself is in proper working condition. Working smoke detectors save lives.

Keep a fire extinguisher in a handy location. The best location is typically just inside a door or entrance, out of the reach of children. Remember, a fire extinguisher is no substitute for the fire station officers, but it can be used to stop a small fire from getting out of control.

Keep safe during Fire Safety Week and always!

Discover World Space Week 2015

World Space Week 2015 highlights the great era of deep space discovery that we are in. We have never learnt as much of the universe we live in as in the last decade. Space telescopes, deep space probes and several interplanetary satellites and landers have shown us the magic, wonders and opportunities of new worlds.

The mission of World Space Week Association (WSWA) is to strengthen the link between space and society through public education, participation, and dialogue on the future of space activity using World Space Week as a focus.

Exoplanets, galaxies far away and close by and landings on planets, moons, asteroids and comets teach us about where we humans have come from and where we will go in the future. Space is all about Discovery!

Why not start using Google Earth to start travelling around the world, watch some of your favourite movies with your friends like Star Trek, Star Wars, Apollo 13..or have a space themed games night or scavenger hunt!

Behind the Scenes at Midlands Science Festival 2015!

Jackie and Eddie

The countdown has begun and with less than eight weeks to go until this year’s national Science Week and the Midlands Science Festival kick off, we are really gearing up to make it our best year yet!

We’ll be serving up an exciting feast of around 90 activities and events for all ages so please keep an eye on our blog and events page for updates and news which will be coming your way very soon.

This year’s festival will provide something for all ages. In particular, we want to ensure that we are really focusing on younger audiences as our research tells us that the earlier we can get into classrooms to start promoting science, the better.

We are really pleased to have the Reptile Zoo back again to entertain children with a variety of exotic animals and the Irish Wildlife Trust and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland who will be teaching children about environmental awareness through participation in a range of games and activities. We are also very excited about bringing the Exploration Dome to a Midlands primary school where pupils will learn about earth science, maths and astronomy and there are lots more workshops, shows and surprises from star gazing to bogs and insects to sea creatures right across the region this November.

We look forward to celebrating the wonders of science with you all!
Science Week 2.0 – be inspired, get involved and design your future!

Photo: One of our key speakers, Dr. Eddie Murphy with Midlands Science Festival Director,
Jackie Gorman at Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Co. Offaly.