The Midlands Science Festival will be taking place across the region for people of all ages from November 12th – 19th and promises a packed programme with over 130 innovative and fun hands-on events. Science Week, which is managed by ‘SFI Discover’ the education and public engagement programme of Science Foundation Ireland, has been in existence since the mid-1990s and has grown to around 800 events per year. The festival will take science out of the lab and into libraries, theatres, sports clubs and primary school halls, giving people a variety of fun ways to explore and open up a multitude of ideas for a potential future career in science, technology, engineering and maths.
This is the fifth year that a dedicated programme of free Science Week events is being rolled out in the counties of Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford. It will bring together a large number of interested participants including science communicators, performers and researchers, science and technology speakers, science and TY students, mini scientists and the general public from all over the Midlands and beyond.
Midlands Science Festival Director, Jackie Gorman said, ‘We are delighted to be heading into our fifth year with the festival and in planning the year’s programme, we have secured some really new and different events and activities as well as bringing back some of the most popular ones from previous years. We have partnered with a number of schools and other organisations including Integra LifeSciences, Waterways Ireland and Bord na Mona in Offaly to create opportunities which aim to excite students about science. We also look forward to another new project for this year which focusses on the extraordinary flora and fauna of the bogs, with reference to the pioneering work of the nineteenth century local scientist and naturalist Mary Ward.’
The festival is a real celebration of science and features something for everyone to enjoy. Among a rich programme of events for this year is one being provided by Waterways Ireland for Daingean NS in Co. Offaly.
Manus Tiernan, Waterways Ireland Education Officer commented,
‘We were delighted to be supporting and participating in this year’s Midlands Science Festival. The event which takes place as part of Science Week is a fantastic opportunity to promote science subjects within Midlands schools and to reach young children at an early age. We are looking forward to visiting Daingean National School this November to provide a workshop all about the Grand Canal; one of Ireland’s greatest engineering achievements. Pupils will be introduced to the rich biodiversity of the canal and meet some of the mini beasts who call the canal their home! They will also have the opportunity to explore the history of the grand canal and the uses of the canal past and present. This festival provides ideal activities and events to enable schools to learn about science and in this case also about heritage in a fun and interesting way.’
There are also a large number of other school events taking place in Offaly schools during Science Week such as high value science career talks, the return of the team from Go Fly Your Kite, the Reptile Zoo and many more. Thanks to local company Integra LifeSciences Ireland Ltd, events are being provided for two Tullamore schools in the form of marine exploration and rocket building workshops.
John O’ Donovan, Plant Manager at Integra LifeSciences Ireland Ltd commented,
‘Integra is very pleased to partner with Midlands Science as a corporate sponsor in order to provide hands-on, interactive science events to some of our local primary schools. Science surrounds us in ways that we don’t often think and we need to do all we can to ensure that young people understand the importance and significance of science in day to day life. The Midlands Science Festival creates many opportunities for people of all ages to connect with and celebrate science and Integra is delighted to be a part of this for 2017.’
Join us from November 12th-19th in celebrating science in Offaly!