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. A key theme for this year is that of heritage and Midlands Science has teamed up with Creative Ireland to provide one Offaly school with a project which celebrates the work of a local nineteenth century pioneering scientist, microscopist and naturalist Mary Ward, who was working at a time when it was very difficult for women to be taken seriously in any field other than the domestic.
Amanda Pedlow, Heritage Officer of Offaly County Council commented,
It is wonderful to see this performance focusing on Mary Ward in Banagher for Science Week 2017. Creative Ireland has provided this opportunity for us to transform the ways in which our cultural heritage is perceived and understood. As heritage is a key theme this year, it is an even better fit and I have no doubt that students will really benefit from being involved with this performance curated by artists Tina Claffey and Caroline Conway which enables them to see just how diverse and exciting science can be.’
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.
Caroline Conway who will deliver this particular workshop said,
‘This a very exciting project and we are delighted to be bringing it to an Offaly school for this year’s Midlands Science Festival. This particular event is quite different to traditional ones as we are using a variety of art forms to promote science. The project consists of a projection of macro-photography and Zoetrope animation. Zoetrope animation was invented in the 1850’s at the same time as Mary Ward was examining the minutiae of nature with the microscope, and we are combining old and new technologies to bring excitement to this subject. There is also drama and music involved so we hope that the students will enjoy it, particular given the Midlands connection.’