I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here.. is back for this year’s Science Week!

‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ – a free X Factor-style online competition between scientists (where the students are the judges!) will run from the 9th to 20th of November, with 20 scientists competing for votes with fast-paced online chats and questions on everything from making drugs, to nanoparticles and even what’s in your pizza!

The competition is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Royal Society of Chemistry. It will feature a number of science ‘zones’ covering topics such as drug synthesis, food science, nanoscience and Nitrogen.

Students will challenge the scientists with all kinds of questions and then vote for their favourite scientist to win a prize of €500 to help them to communicate their work with the public. Keep up-to-date with the latest news on Twitter @imascientist, and follow the hashtag, #IASIE.

Source: science.ie

Roll up for a Perfect Blend of Science and Entertainment

Science circusPower drill, basketballs and smelly socks are just some of the bizarre props that Dr Ken uses to entertain pupils with his ‘Science Circus’ entertainment show.

We are delighted to welcome Ken this year for something extra fun and different, something we hope will help young people to look at the science subjects more favourably.

Dr Ken takes children on a voyage of discovery investigating how performers make use of many scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. Some lucky spectators will find out why jugglers love gravity, how clowns use the force like a Jedi and why unicyclists need to keep moving to stay still. It’s science but not as you may know it!!!

This is just one of many fun events happening in local schools in the Midlands during Science Week! Hope you are as excited as we are!

Counting Down to the Midlands Science Festival 2015

Eddie, Gill, JackieAs Science Week grows closer with under two weeks to go, the Midlands Science Festival team spearheaded by local development company, Atlantic Corridor is gearing up to provide an array of exciting and innovative science events across four counties. In this the year of Irish Design, Science Week 2015 celebrates the deep connection between science and design. Medical devices, technological appliances and research apparatus demonstrate how closely these two fields are intertwined. Science Week 2.0 urges young people to actively ‘Design your Future’ by engaging with science disciplines and embarking on exciting and fulfilling careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Coordinated by SFI Discover, the education and public engagement programme of Science Foundation Ireland, Science Week will run from 8th – 15th November 2015.

The week-long festival will highlight how science, technology, engineering and mathematics are fundamental to everyday life, and demonstrate STEMs importance to the future development of our society and economy. The annual festival of events, activities, demonstrations, talks and interactive shows is thanks to the collaborative work of volunteers, teachers, researchers, scientists and fans of the wonderful world of science. Communities all around Ireland – including schools, colleges, universities, research institutes, businesses and libraries – will take part in Science Week 2.0.

Ian Robertson is a Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and Ian will speak at an event entitled ‘The Mind, the Body, the Universe’ on Friday, November 13th and he commented,

‘Trinity College Dublin is pleased to be associated with local and national activities that encourage people of all ages to engage with STEM and we are really excited to be involved with the 2015 Midland Science Festival. It is my pleasure a key speaker at one of the main public events during this week as we would like to do all we can to work towards inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. Don’t miss out on what promises to be a really informative and fun-filled week for all.’

Many of the global medical technologies and pharmaceutical companies now have a dedicated presence in Ireland and throughout Science Week people will be able to learn more about what kind of science-related jobs would potentially be available to them in the future. High-value career guidance advice into the world of technology and innovation will be delivered during the festival by leading scientists and expert technology speakers.
Science Week is a free, family-friendly, programme of events which allows 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 and communicators.

In particular, we want to ensure that we are really focusing on the younger audiences as research tells us that the earlier we can get into classrooms to start promoting science, the better. We are
really pleased to have the Reptile Zoo back again to entertain children with a variety of exotic animals and the Irish Wildlife Trust and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland who will be teaching children about environmental awareness through participation in a range of games and activities.

We are also very excited about bringing the Exploration Dome to a Midlands primary school where pupils will learn about earth science, maths and astronomy and there are lots more workshops, shows and surprises from star gazing to sea creatures right across the region this November. As well as celebrating science in schools we intend to provide some really unique and inspiring events for the general public too and more news on this will follow in the weeks ahead.

Jackie Gorman, Director of the Midlands Science Festival said,
‘The main objective here is to create a buzz about science, not just in students but the general public and to help people to see that science is all around us and it actually has an impact on our daily lives. We want people to talk about science even if they sometimes don’t realise that’s what they are doing! It’s in everything from our i-pads to our vegetables. It’s about creating greater interest in science education and careers which of course benefits the Midlands region. We can look forward to an exciting week in November with about 90 science events across the Midlands counties this year. Please keep an eye our website in the weeks ahead for details.

Festival Volunteers Required!

volunteer picDo you have a passion for Science, Engineering, Technology or Maths? Are you looking for hands-on ways to gain some really useful work experience in event management or education outreach?

We are looking for volunteers to join the Midlands Science Festival Team for a variety of tasks over the coming weeks and for Science Week itself which takes place from November 8th – 15th. Roles will include facilitating public event programmes, helping out at the festival, engaging people with Science Week and creating awareness and a good overall feeling about science.

We are encouraging students, scientists, engineers, parents, community workers and leaders to contact us if this sounds like something you might enjoy. So, if you are over 18 years old, hard-working and want the chance to meet like-minded people and attend fantastic events for free, we want to hear from you!

Don’t miss an opportunity to share your excitement for this fascinating subject and remember, you don’t have to be a scientist to volunteer with us. For information please contact Jackie Gorman on 05793 23902 or by email: jgorman@atlanticcorridor.ie

Do you need to Learn more about Science?

scoil mhuire ipads project2A major study published last week shows people in Ireland are generally supportive of State investment in science and believe it is important for our economic development.

The study also shows too many people feel uninformed about major science issues such as climate and energy. They also believe scientists do not listen to ordinary people.

The Science in Ireland Barometer sampled the views of more than than 1,000 people around the State and was released by Minister of State for Research and Innovation Damien English to mark the launch of Science Week 2015, which gets under way in November offering more than 800 events.

Between 83 and 88 per cent of people believe science education is important, that it will improve Ireland and that it could solve major societal challenges.

Nine out of 10 people said science was important for people’s future and almost as many said it would bring economic growth and support jobs.

However, about seven in 10 people said science was too specialised for them, that there was too much conflicting information, and that scientists didn’t listen to ordinary people.

Source: The Irish Times

Don’t miss the chance to learn more about science often is some of the most unexpected locations this year at the Midlands Science Festival!

Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future unveiled as this year’s theme

20 years picScience Week 2.0: Design Your Future invites people of all ages to experience science first-hand – enjoy a science demonstration, seminar or show; have fun with a science experiment at home and discover the answers to the most curious science questions with friends and family. It is an opportunity to explore and experience the wonder of science.

In this the year of Irish Design, Science Week celebrates the deep connection between science and design. Medical devices, technological appliances and research apparatus demonstrate how closely these two fields are intertwined. Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future urges young people to actively ‘Design Your Future’ by engaging with science disciplines and embarking on exciting and fulfilling careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Coordinated by SFI Discover, the education and public engagement programme of Science Foundation Ireland, Science Week will run from 8th – 15th November 2015. The week-long festival will highlight how science, technology, engineering and mathematics are fundamental to everyday life, and demonstrate STEM’s importance to the future development of our society and economy. The annual festival of events, activities, demonstrations, talks and interactive shows is thanks to the collaborative work of volunteers, teachers, researchers, scientists and fans of the wonderful world of science. Communities all around Ireland – including schools, colleges, universities, research institutes, businesses and libraries – will take part in Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future.

The Midlands Science Festival will run throughout that week and we cant wait!

Science Week 2.0: Design Your Future – be inspired, get involved and design your future

Behind the Scenes at Midlands Science Festival 2015!

Jackie and Eddie

The countdown has begun and with less than eight weeks to go until this year’s national Science Week and the Midlands Science Festival kick off, we are really gearing up to make it our best year yet!

We’ll be serving up an exciting feast of around 90 activities and events for all ages so please keep an eye on our blog and events page for updates and news which will be coming your way very soon.

This year’s festival will provide something for all ages. In particular, we want to ensure that we are really focusing on younger audiences as our research tells us that the earlier we can get into classrooms to start promoting science, the better.

We are really pleased to have the Reptile Zoo back again to entertain children with a variety of exotic animals and the Irish Wildlife Trust and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland who will be teaching children about environmental awareness through participation in a range of games and activities. We are also very excited about bringing the Exploration Dome to a Midlands primary school where pupils will learn about earth science, maths and astronomy and there are lots more workshops, shows and surprises from star gazing to bogs and insects to sea creatures right across the region this November.

We look forward to celebrating the wonders of science with you all!
Science Week 2.0 – be inspired, get involved and design your future!

Photo: One of our key speakers, Dr. Eddie Murphy with Midlands Science Festival Director,
Jackie Gorman at Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Co. Offaly.

Here Comes Science Week!

New_1_TacticsAfter many months of hard work and lots of fun and learning, we are finally here.

Kicking off tomorrow morning in Athlone Institute of Technology with our FameLab Showcase, we then have careers talks, insightful talks from expert speakers, demonstrations…there really is something for all ages. And remember….there is still time to book some of the activities, so check out the Events section now!

We would like to once again thanks all of our colleagues in Science Foundation Ireland for this opportunity as well as our corporate partners and not forgetting each and every presenter and host that we are working with to make the festival happen.

Looking forward to seeing and meeting as many people as possible to celebrate science..Don’t miss out!

The Earlier the Better…

D15192-0079We had great fun with Jonathan McCrea (Newstalk’s Futureproof/the Science Squad) and Professor Luke O’Neill (one of Irelands leading scientists) recently in the grounds of Trinity College Dublin for a Science Week photo-shoot..
But when we actually think about it, this photo really captures a lot of what Science Week is all about.  At the Midlands Science Festival, it is so important for us to try to inspire the youngest of minds and to allow them to see science as something fun and interesting and not something that is too difficult or complicated.

Young children are by nature very curious so the years of early childhood really are the perfect time to encourage a love of learning and especially a love for science. Always try to provide opportunities for your children to experience things in a hands-on way, increase their curiosity and see how much they will love it, as well as the time spent with you! My own love nothing more than a wander around the grounds of our local castle in their wellies or a family bike ride in Lough Boora where we happen to have a very special stargazing event this year!

Answer all of their little questions because children are constantly learning, as we should be too! Join us next week in celebrating science across the region, you never know what you might discover!

He said, she said….

 

FionnualaLast year we took note of some of the comments made by teachers who were fortunate to host a Science Week event in the Midlands as part of the Midlands Science Festival 2013. We hope teachers (and parents!) will be just as happy this year ….

‘A key goal of Science Week is to strengthen the attractiveness of science education through the use of exciting and innovative tools and ideas. Clearly, it is much easier to ignite school children’s interest in learning about science and nature when it is carried out in a more fun and engaging way. Therefore, we were delighted to be hosting the Reptile Village Zoo and its mobile demonstration team during the Midlands Science Festival.’

‘This is a real and tangible example of how we can teach children about the wonders of the world in a simple and hands-on way. It will hopefully instill in the young students a love of learning, particularly about science and the world around them.’

‘Children have a natural tendency towards exploration and discovery and now more than ever, it is so important to encourage them to be curious about nature and the world and to educate them on the importance of science in their everyday lives.’

‘Children learn best through doing and these types of workshops encourage hands-on participation and bring science to life, showing students just how much fun it can be. It will also hopefully encourage their curiousity about science and nature even more so going forward.’

 

Not long to go now…Find out just how much the ‘Power of Science’ is all around!