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 tortoise 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-dome

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 kingdom) 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 Photo

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 Photo

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 do!

SCIENCE FESTIVAL KICKS OFF IN LAOIS

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 outdoor 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 Story of Electricity” and a visit from the Exploration Dome where pupils had the opportunity 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 photographed and recorded for online communications.

We can’t contain our excitement!

Photography : Jeff Harvey

Photography : 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

andy-fogarty-2

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 into 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 director 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 Sheraton 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 communicator 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 Respiratory 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 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.’

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

Experimental Environmental Fun during Science Week

TullamoreWe cant wait for the return of the Rediscovery Centre to find out what messy experiments that have in store this year. Last year, the team came to Tullamore library where three lucky local schools got to learn about all things science, particularly areas which have an environmental focus. Thus year, the team will hit Westmeath where lots more experiments, learning and most importantly fun will take place!#ScienceWeek

Nearly there..

bacteria-lornaThe opportunity to find out what it feels like to have an exotic reptile hanging from your shoulders, learning about science magic and how life boats work are just some of the exciting experiences taking place across the Midlands during Science Week from November 13th-20th.

The Midlands Science Festival which is now less than 2 weeks away will give people a variety of fun ways to explore the world around them and open up a multitude of ideas and possibilities for a future career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Midlands Science Festival Director, Jackie Gorman said,

‘The festival is shaping up to be much larger and more exciting than ever before. A key goal of Science Week is to strengthen the attractiveness of science education through the use of exciting and innovative tools and ideas so we have a whole range of activities lined up to do just this.’

Take your curiosities to a new level and don’t miss out an opportunity to discover and celebrate science this November across the Midlands.

Inspirational Career Talks

Dr Mary GuinanAs 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 into 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. Many of the speakers are past pupils of the schools they will attend.

Earlier this year we enjoyed a series of similar talks from an inspiring speaker with Midlands roots, Dr Mary Guinan, who told the story of her amazing science career as a medical detective! (see photo)

Maths for Fun!

legoThere have been many occasions in my house where we have used Lego to help us to learn our maths. Aside from using it for fun and creative play, we have used it for counting, subtracting, sorting, greater than and less than tasks and loads more! Often it is the most simple things that you find lying around the house or in your playroom that can be used in more ways than you could imagine.

As children get older and start to look at problem solving and more difficult maths tasks, Lego can be used once again as a way to explain things and work things out in a different way. You can also use it to build numbers on a base, for estimation, guess work, for fractions using different coloured bricks and for ratio..the possibilities are endless!

Get your box of colourful bricks out the next time maths homework poses a difficulty. You would be surprised how quickly you might be able to help a young child to understand the task more easily!