Delving in to Science Capital …

Great morning exploring #sciencecapital with students at St Brendan’s Community School in #birr and CBS #Mullingar – lots of questions about everything from poisons to animal testing alternatives. #believeinscience

Counting the days to Maths Week….

Midlands Science is delighted to be delivering a number of events during Maths Week across the Midlands this October 12th-20th. The focus is on creating a more positive outlook towards maths and as part of this year’s celebrations we are running a competition where we will ask people to put on their thinking caps and solve some maths puzzles!

Check out our first two puzzles below and send your answer to jgorman@midlandsscience.ie to be in with a chance of winning a great prize!

  • One very famous historical problem: If 6 cats kill 6 rats in 6 minutes, how many will be needed to kill 100 rats in 50 minutes? The solution seems obvious but there are lots of ways to think about it!
  • If you have a basin that holds exactly 5l, a basin that holds exactly 3l and an unlimited supply of water, how can you produce exactly 4l of water?

Science outreach – We will come to you!

2019 has been an extremely busy year so far for the Midlands Science team with lots more exciting science events, workshops and inspiring STEM career talks on the way in the next couple of months. Our goal is to reach more and more people of all ages year on year in order to ensure that the message is spreading about the important role science plays in so many aspects of our everyday lives.

Our timetable is now completely is full until the end of the year but we are are now scheduling outreach to primary & secondary schools from January to June 2020.

Our Outreach team can bring a range of dynamic shows and workshops to your school or community venue. Feel free to get in touch by emailing jgorman@midlandsscience.ie to receive an expression of interest form & more details. We look forward to working with you soon!

Something for everyone at the Midlands Science Festival!

As the upcoming annual Midlands Science Festival and national Science Week grow closer, local development agency Midlands Science is gearing up to provide an array of incredible events and science fun across the Midlands. Science Week which is managed by Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Programme has been in existence since the mid-1990s and has grown to around 800 events per year.
The Midlands Science Festival, which begins on November 9th, celebrates science in the region with original programming that includes lively debates and lectures, film productions, hands-on workshops and interactive demonstrations for people of all ages. All things science will be explored through shows, demonstrations and talks to advance our understanding and appreciation of everything from astronomy to zoology.

This year’s festival includes a family open day, Travels in Chernobyl, the Science of Harry Potter, Cancer Causes and Cures Myth Busting, National Museum of Ireland outreach events and much more. Popular activities such as science knitting patterns for local knitters and a Science Festival Book Club for adult and younger readers are back again this year. Exploring everything from invisible ink to Darth Vader’s voice, the Midlands Science Festival is a unique opportunity to explore science through a diverse programme of interactive events, workshops and shows. This year’s festival also includes a strong focus on climate change issues and sustainability and a specially curated ASD appropriate event. Supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a number of corporate and academic partners, this is the seventh year of the festival.

Dr. Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society in SFI commented,
‘Science Week is SFI’s key annual events which aims to foster a greater understanding of the value of science to society and to increase the numbers of young people studying science and related fields. It gives people a chance to hear from national and global experts who have the ability to engage in conversations about science and technology in an inspiring and motivational way. Each festival offer an exciting line-up of programming, with a number of influential performers and leaders in their fields sharing their expertise and inviting audiences to join conversations that should encourage us all to be champions of science and curiosity. SFI is pleased to continue its support of Midlands Science in its efforts to engage with as many people in the region with science fields.’

The Midlands Science Festival itself aims to engage and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to become leaders of tomorrow. It encourages experimentation, collaboration, inspiring students to solve real-world problems. This is the first year that Midlands Science will be partnering with organisations such as the National Museum of Ireland to demonstrate that important connection between science, culture and the arts. The week long programme will also feature Marty Jopson of BBC’s The One Show, celebrity Chef Louise Lennox exploring the science of gastronomy and Simon Watt who has regularly featured on Channel 4 and Discovery with his science programmes.

Jackie Gorman, Director of the Midlands Science Festival said,
‘We are delighted through support from Science Foundation Ireland and a number of key partnerships to be bringing a number of exciting science events to the Midlands again this year. We will be exploring everything from climate change to the science of Harry Potter, from bog bodies to quantum physics. Science Week is the essence of diversity. We have always strived to link the science issues we explore in our outreach work with everyday life and experiences and this year, we are more than ever conscious of this, as climate change is a national theme for Science Week. This is an issue which increasingly affects all aspects of our lives. Science can help us understand what is happening and also provide us with the information to make different choices and pursue solutions in the future. We are delighted to again be working with partners such as the local heritage offices, local partnership companies and libraries. As Hermione Granger said “when in doubt, go to the library !” We hope that people will take the opportunity to attend some of the events which we have programmed for this year, they are all free and feature world class experts who are passionate about science and sharing that passion with others.’

The festival takes sciences out of scholarly journals and traditional laboratories into the cultural mainstream in a more accessible, creative and impactful way. It a wonderful opportunity for science enthusiasts to see what’s new and innovative in the world of science and technology. It is also the perfect chance for someone who is just tipping their toe into science for the first time, to participate in over 100 hands-on activities and live performances by science explorers, communicators and experts whose mission it is to educate, entertain, inform and inspire.

Jackie Gorman continued,
‘Every year we want the festival to ignite curiosity and let people discover that science and technology can offer amazing opportunities, often in ways that they may not realise. This year’s calendar of activity is bigger and better than ever. We are delighted to announce an extra element to our 2019 programming which includes a free, Discovery Day in Co. Offaly. This event will allow families to immerse themselves in a wide array of exciting and meaningful science experiences, such as Dr Mindflip’s Ultimate Learning Experience, star gazing with the Exploration Dome, snakes and spiders with the Reptile Zoo, Dinosaurs with Dale Treadwell, Star War science and lots more! Keep a close eye on www.midlandsscience.ie for booking details and information which will be added over the coming weeks and please join us in celebrating science in the Midlands this November.’

Climate Change movie project in progress…

We are delighted to be working with the students and teachers in local second level school, Tullamore College to co-create  a unique event for Science Week.
The theme for Science Week 2019 is climate change so we thought it might be a good way for  students to learn about the science of climate change and how to communicate it. We are working with a group of TY students to produce and edit their own short movie which explores what they know about climate change and what we can do about it and in the process they will interview various people about it from different perspectives.

We are really looking forward to seeing the end result!

A Taste of Science Week…

This year’s exciting programme, which will be our 7th Midlands Science Festival, includes a packed variety of engaging shows, exhibitions and hands-on fun demonstrations in classrooms and theatres alike!

Supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a number of corporate and academic partners, here is some detail of the events we are planning for Science Week 2019; A family open day, Travels in Chernobyl, the Science of Harry Potter, Cancer Causes and Cures Myth Busting, National Museum of Ireland outreach events and much more. Popular activities such as science knitting patterns for local knitters and a Science Festival Book Club for adult and younger readers are back again this year. Exploring everything from invisible ink to Darth Vader’s voice, the Midlands Science Festival is a unique opportunity to explore science through a diverse programme of interactive events, workshops and shows.

This year’s festival also includes a strong focus on climate change issues and sustainability and a specially curated ASD appropriate event.

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 researchers and science communicators, science students and younger children together with their families and the general public from all over the Midlands.’

Picking up The Naughton Foundation Award

We were delighted to recently receive an award from The Naughton Foundation at Trinity College Dublin. This award was presented to Midlands Science by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, TD. Dr Craig Slattery, Chairperson of Midlands Science commented “support from The Naughton Foundation will assist Midlands Science in the delivery of a number of STEM outreach activities in the midlands and we look forward to working with them. We are most grateful to them for their strong interest in STEM education and skills in the region.”

The Naughton Foundation was established by Martin and Carmel Naughton in 1994. It is a private family foundation and its goal is to support worthwhile causes in the arts and education. Midlands Science undertakes a range of outreach activities throughout the year in the midlands promoting science, technology, engineering and maths through school workshops, public events and a regional science festival. It is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, The Ireland Funds, The Social Innovation Fund of Ireland and a range of project partners. It is managed by a voluntary board of trustees which includes representatives from industry, education and research.

#science #believeinscience #stem #skills #education #philanthrophy

FREE SPACE WEEK EVENT

Our friends at Clara Bog Visitor Centre are hosting an event on Tuesday, 8 October at 8 pm. Michelle McKeon Bennett, a scientist with a particular interest in space and a Clara native will give a presentation on the applications of Clara Bog plants for living in space. Michelle has worked with NASA in the Kennedy Space Centre, USA, investigating the application of Sphagnum Moss for living in space. This event is taking place during Space Week which runs from 4 – 10 October.
A visit to Clara Bog Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre is also an opportunity to learn more about bogs and the important role they can play in combating climate change.
#stem #believeinscience