Careers Advice for Kilbeggan Students with PM Group

Midlands Science is proud to deliver career talks to as many schools as possible in the Midlands to demonstrate in a hands on way why a career in science, technology, engineering or maths is a good choice. We were pleased to welcome Mick Lynam from PM Group to speak to students in Kilbeggan during Science Week. PM Group manage the design, construction and commissioning of high-tech facilities for the world’s leading pharma, food, data centre and med tech companies.

Mick Lynam, Director of Project Delivery at PM Group said,

‘PM Group was delighted to recently team up with local development company, Midlands Science to help inspire Midlands students and hopefully build enthusiasm in them to consider science and engineering as possible future subject choices. Engineers in particular are in high demand currently and we are seeing plenty of new job opportunities for graduates within the engineering sector but the skills shortages continue. Therefore, we must all work together to build awareness and promote the industry and increase the understanding about the important need for engineers in Ireland today and into the future.’

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘We are really grateful to PM Group and all of our partners and mentors from life sciences organisations and technology companies, as well as from research centres and academia for their time and guidance on careers in these areas. Our career talks are aimed at Transition Year students, with a view to encouraging them to keep on STEM subjects, but are also available for Senior Cycle students who are still unsure about third level options and preferences.’

Google workshops a great success!

We were delighted to run a number of Google CS first taster workshops again during this year’s festival across the region and these workshops were based on real world themes aiming to engage students of varying interests – Storytelling, Fashion & Design, Sports, Animation , Art, Music & Sound, Game Design, Friends and Social Media. With the help of their teachers, students availed of the google online CS Education to develop their Computer Science skills.

Claire Conneely of Google’s Computer Science Education team (EMEA) said,

‘Google is pleased to once again collaborate with Midlands Science to provide computer science outreach for young people during Science Week 2019. Cultivating a future workforce that is ready for the fast pace and many changing faces of technology today requires a commitment from businesses in this industry to help prepare the next generation with the right technical skills, to get them excited about Computer Science and encourage more young people to pursue a career in this field.’

Wildlife science with Dublin Zoo!

Watching excited young faces meeting some of the fantastic presenters and seeing them learn so many new things…these are some of our happiest memories from this year’s Midlands Science Festival. Science helps children to answer some really tough questions but Science Week itself enables us to make this happen in much more entertaining ways.

One of our key goals is to help primary school children understand that science is all around them, every day and in all kinds of ways. Science is a part of daily life from cooking and playing sports to watching the rain or enjoying the sunshine. This year we were delighted to welcome our friends from the outreach team from Dublin Zoo. Children learned about biofacts such as skulls, skins and other interesting specimens and explored the science of wildlife and conservation.

We want to encourage young pupils to collect information, ask more questions, observe and draw their own conclusions because science can really teach children to form their own opinions. It allows them to experiment and realize that not everything has to work out perfectly all the time. It makes them query how the world works, sparks ideas and helps them to find solutions to everyday problems in the most simplified of ways.

 

#believeinscience

Visit to Local Medical Device Company for Science Week

Midlands Science was delighted to team up with local company Europharma Concepts Ltd (EPC) during this year’s Science Week to demonstrate to a number of Midlands students what it is like to work in a medical device company. A group of pupils from Ardscoil Chiarain Naofa visited the plant last week to learn all about the inner workings of a company like this and to explore a range of science related careers.

Declan Lenahan of EuroPharma Concepts said,

‘Europharma Concepts was delighted to join forces with local development company Midlands Science and the Midlands Science festival team for Science Week 2019. It is important for Europharma Concepts as an employer to provide the local student population with encouraging experiences of real-world science and we were delighted to host a number of young people from Ardscoil Chiarain Naofa for a plant tour here in Clara last week. Allowing them to see the internal workings of our company is an ideal way to explain the diverse range of science and technology jobs out there. The aim is to generate an increased interest in science fields and work towards inspiring the next generation of scientists in the Midlands and beyond.’

Founded in 2007 as the only oral healthcare manufacture in Ireland, Europharma Concepts Ltd (EPC) has growing from strength to strength and has become an industry leader in the development and manufacturing of Oral Care, Cosmetics and liquid filled Medical Device products.

The Midlands Science Festival which took place across the region last week celebrates science with original programming that includes lively debates and lectures, film productions, hands-on workshops and interactive demonstrations for people of all ages.

Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science CEO said,

‘One of the main objectives of this week-long event is to demonstrate the many exciting career opportunities available within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths disciplines. There is a real urgency in society today to ensure that young people are getting the best type of careers advice possible and by taking it beyond just the classroom and into real working environments, we hope we are going in the right direction. We need to increase interest in these fields and work towards inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. The festival team places a strong emphasis on mentoring from role models and champions from those in the science education and corporate sectors and it is also wonderful to have opportunities such as site visits to pharmaceutical or medical technology companies during Science Week in order to reach as many students as possible and to encourage them to consider these all-important fields and the related course options.’

Some highlights from Athlone…

The opportunity to explore the science of Chernobyl in Athlone Library, space exploration at the Rocketeers Roadshow with Simon Watt and Harry Potter science were just some of the exciting experiences which took place in Westmeath during Science Week last week.

Jackie Gorman, Director of the Midlands Science Festival said,

‘We were delighted through support from Science Foundation Ireland and a number of key partnerships to bring a number of exciting science events to the Midlands again this year. We were delighted to again be working with partners such as the local heritage offices, companies, schools and libraries. Most of the event tickets were sold in advance so it was fantastic to witness the excitement that people anticipated. As Hermione Granger said “when in doubt, go to the library !” We hope that people enjoyed the events in their local area and we are already looking forward to an even bigger Science Week in the Midlands next year.’

The festival brings sciences out into the cultural mainstream in a more accessible, creative and impactful way. It was a wonderful opportunity for science enthusiasts to see what’s new and innovative in the world of science and technology. The large public turnout again this year 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.

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘The Midlands Science Festival itself aims to engage and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to become leaders of tomorrow. It encourages experimentation and collaboration, inspiring students to solve real-world problems. We work to promote science throughout the year so keep an eye out for what we have coming next!’

 

 

Photos: Pupils from Athlone exploring the Science of Harry Potter with Anyone 4 Science in  Athlone Library during the annual Midlands Science Festival as part of Science Week 2019

The Reptiles arrive in Longford!

Longford pupils were treated to a visit from the Reptile Zoo Village today in Ballymahon library as part of this years Midlands Sceince Festival and national Science Week. Scorpions, snakes, stick insects and their minders having been coming to the Midlands for the past few years to educate young pupils about science and it is always a huge hit!

Science performer Declan Holmes of Science Ireland also visited Longford this week for a unique show exploring everything from the science of rockets to vuvuzelas to Darth Vader’s voice. This took place in Longford County Library and was full of enthusiastic young students from surrounding areas.

We also had an inter-active workshop with artists Tina Claffey and Caroline Conway exploring the life and legacy of Mary Ward, one of Ireland’s first female scientists, earlier this week in Granard, Longford.

Marty Jopson Show a Huge Success!

We were thrilled to have science performer and BBC One Show’s resident scientist, Marty Jopson partaking in this year’s Midlands Science Festival this week in Co. Laois. Marty presented to a large audience of pupils from Clonaslee Community College and the surrounding primary schools and was an astounding success.

Marty said,

‘Science is not an optional extra in our 21st century society as pretty much everything around us has a basis in science or engineering. My job and the work of other presenters at the Midland Science Festival is to enthuse the public and give them a look into that science, since if you don’t understand what its all about how can you really participate in our modern democratic society? That’s the serious answer, but really its all about fun. Science is just cool and interesting and that is generally what drives me to do what I do.’

Superhero Science for Laois!

Dr. Barry Fitzgerald visited Portlaoise branch library this week and we were delighted to have him back for this years science festival where he delivered ‘secrets of superhero science’ workshops to Laois pupils .

Dr. Barry Fitzgerald is a superhero scientist, speaker, author, and enthusiastic science communicator. His research interests include particle processing, responsible innovation, science education, scientific outreach and communication, and superhero science. For the latter, Barry aims to identify the science and technology of today that could lead to superpowers tomorrow.

Barry is the author of the popular science books “Secrets of Superhero Science” and “Secret Science of Santa Claus”. His latest book “How to Build an Iron Man Suit” is out from October 2019.

Barry said, ‘I first presented workshops as part of Science Week in 2015 and am delighted to be back in the Midlands to celebrate science again this year. Several science themed events will take place around the country this November, providing a wonderful opportunity to explore and learn about the world of science and technology that surrounds us and there really is something for people of all ages. It is a really valuable platform for researchers and those working in scientific communication to encourage the next generation to consider science as a subject and future career option and an opportunity to inspire young people to engage with science in a fun and exciting way. ‘

Camross Parish working for Climate action

As part of national Science Week which has a theme of Climate Action this year,  Camross Parish Development Association planted a number of trees on November 15th at noon  in their New Village Park in the Slieve Bloom Mountains near Mountrath.

The theme of this year’s Science Week is climate action, seeking to help people understand climate change how science and technology can help us create a positive climate future and the impact we as individuals can have on climate change. Coillte has kindly donated thousands of trees to Science Foundation Ireland to be planted during Science Week as part of this year’s Climate Action theme. The trees are a mixture of native saplings.

Ger Buckley, Establishment Managervof Coillte commented; ”Coillte while operating commercially and sustaining many rural jobs nationally also recognises the key role that all its woodlands both Conifer and Broadleaf have in Climate action. As such we currently manage up to 20% of our Forest estate with the primary objective of Biodiversity enhancement”.

Johanna Mc Donald Steenkist from Camross Parish Development Association commented ; “Trees and woodlands make a positive contribution to an area’s biodiversity and landscape, providing a habitat for wildlife and a place of recreation and relaxation for those who live in the area. We are delighted to part of this national tree planting initiative with Laois Heritage Office and Midlands Science and to plant so many trees in our new community woodland site in our Village Park during national Science Week.”

The village of Camross nestles close to Ard Erin-the highest peak in the Slieve Bloom Mountains and its name in Irish actually means ” Crooked Wood” ! In fact, research by Helen Roe, the first County Librarian in Laois in 1932 speaks to the enduring association of trees to the Camross area in its evocative place names – Marsh of the Elder Tree, Field of the Wood, Rough Oakwood and Oakwood of the Freeman.

 

Science of Chernobyl comes to Athlone…

We hosted a packed event earlier this week in  Athlone Library which explored the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant which took place on April 26th, 1986. The radiation exposure to the Irish population, as a result of the Chernobyl accident, has been estimated based on the large number of foodstuffs and environmental samples measured at the time. It was calculated that Chernobyl resulted in an approximate three per cent increase in radiation exposure to the average Irish person in the twelve months following the accident. We were delighted to see so much interest in this fascinating topic which was another reminder that science really is all around us.

Science teacher, writer and birdwatcher Rory Duffy explored the science of Chernobyl and his recent visit to the site. The discussion was moderated by toxicologist, Dr Craig Slattery of UCD and was joined by Prof Gillian O’Brien of John Moores University Liverpool. Gillian has a special interest in dark tourism and the human fascination with disaster sites.

 

#believeinscience #stem #scienceweek