Posts

Looking Back on 2013

blog_reptiles

The opportunity to gain a closer understanding of how your brain works, to mix maths with magic and fun and find out what it feels like to have an exotic reptile hanging from your shoulders were just some of the exciting experiences which took place across the Midlands during Science Week last year.

The Midlands Science Festival 2013 really inspired people to think differently about science. The large public turnout totalling over 4,000 people showed there is a great appetite for this type of regional educational event and one of the most encouraging factors was the diversity of the audiences attracted during the week.

Through the medium of carefully crafted workshops and career advisory sessions; many young people had the chance to learn more about the kinds of science-related jobs that would potentially be available to them in the future. High-value career guidance advice was delivered during the festival from companies such as Cpl Recruitment, market-leading technology firm Ericsson and Human Resources Consultancy, Pro-Active Management.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Atlantic Corridor said, “Throughout Science Week 2013, we were overwhelmed by the level of enthusiasm and goodwill from our corporate partners, local schools, key speakers, local media, venues and many other organisations and individuals throughout the region. Most of the event tickets were sold in advance so it was fantastic to witness the excitement that people anticipated and now we look forward to bringing the festival back to this region again.”

Other highlights included a presentation to a packed audience by award winning journalist Jonathan McCrea, school experiments such as examining bacteria and exploring the solar system, alchemist cafés full of debate and discussion and more. The hope is that the once very clear line between science and popular culture might be fading and science will continue to earn more of a place in society by demonstrating just how connected it is to everyday life.

A Little Taster….

blog_taster

This year’s exciting programme will be launched in more detail in the coming weeks and will include a packed variety of engaging shows, exhibitions and hands-on fun demonstrations in classrooms and theatres alike! Here is some detail of the events we are planning.

Jackie Gorman, Director of the Midlands Science Festival said, ‘The festival will allow people of all ages to discover something new, participate in a large number of hands-on science and technology activities and see a whole host of live performances by science enthusiasts, experts and communicators. We hope to bring together a large number of interested participants including entrepreneurs and researchers, science students and the general public from all over the Midlands.’

Some Highlights
Starting with the younger ones, we have plenty of events planned for our mini-scientists this year. We can look forward to a visit from the Junior Einsteins Science Club to some of our local schools. This fascinating club teaches children core aspects of Biology, Chemistry & Physics through fun experiments, messy ‘make and do’, quizzes and more fun!  We are also delighted to welcome back a firm favourite, the Reptile Zoo Village, to a number of schools where pupils will have the opportunity to pet a snake or a large spider if that is their desire! In addition, Ingenious Ireland, Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association (ISSTA) and the Rediscovery Centre will all provide something new for the 2014 Midlands Science Festival.

Science Week gives young people a chance to meet and hear from experts who have the ability to share their expertise and encourage the next generation to consider a career in science. Throughout the week, we will have several presentations from key people working in different science fields and we will also host a number of science and technology career’s workshops with key local companies and academia for 2nd level students.

As well as celebrating science in schools we intend to provide some really unique and inspiring events for the general public too. This will include the return of last year’s ‘Science Movie’ night, which is a unique audiovisual experience featuring some of the best science stories from the world of animation, radio and television. And with top scientists such as Professor Luke O Neill now confirmed, we can promise a number of alchemist cafes full of lively debate and discussion during the week. This is just a taste of what we have lined up and we look forward to revealing our full programme of events very soon!

Counting Down to Science Week

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”362″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”left” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It may still be a few months away but we already have our thinking caps on to come up with ways to make this year’s ‘Midlands Science Festival’ even bigger and more fun and action packed than last year. There will be an exciting range of new events with a promise of something for everyone but we will also bring back some of the most popular sessions from last year with the overall aim of inspiring, educating and entertaining through science!

We are also focusing on regional activities and events which will hopefully help young people around the Midlands in particular, develop an interest in STEM subjects beyond the confines of the curriculum and increase their awareness of potential careers in those areas. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) recently launched a new three-year plan for its Smart Futures initiative which is aimed at delivering a 10% increase in uptake of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects at second and third level by 2016. The overall objective is to close the skills gap which still exists in sectors such as ICT, life sciences, and engineering.

We want to be part of this collective endeavour and you can help us by taking science out of the lab and into the streets, public spaces, libraries and other fun places. You can help us celebrate science![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]