The Bubble Master Returns

D15192-0025Blowing bubbles is something that reminds everyone of their childhood and it is a pastime that just never gets old!

We are delighted to confirm that Steve Allman is joining us once again at this year’s Midlands Science Festival. We can’t wait to see ‘The Bubble Show’ in November where a lucky school will find out how to make their own bubble mixture, see what happens as bubbles are filled with smoke and watch on in awe as huge bubbles float over their heads.

Some Facts:
Why Do Bubbles Burst? Anything that fractures the fragile layer of water molecules can cause a bubble to burst. For example, a gust of wind or an object (like your finger) will easily cause a bubble to burst. Also, a bubble will burst if enough of the water molecules evaporate

Did you know that the best recipe for bubbles is 95% water, 4% glycerine, 1% fairy liquid

The biggest free-floating soap bubble ever blown was 105.4 cubic feet. It could have held 788 gallons of water!

Once again, this is evidence that science really is all around us! We are so excited about the Bubble Show and plan to take some really good photos to capture the magic of the event…Roll on Science Week!

Your Favourite Science Fact!

D15192-0025We are trying to build our collection of science facts in advance of ‘Science Week’ which takes place in November from the 9th to 16th.
We already have a number of great favourite science facts which were submitted by some of our key speakers such as the following :

– The human body has ten times more bacteria cells than human cells.
– A neutron star (what remains after a Super Nova) is so dense that a portion of it the size of a sugar cube would weigh as much as all of humanity
– In 1941, penicillin was first used to treat a bacterial infection in a human being. However, because there was such a small supply of penicillin available at the time, all of the patient’s urine was collected and the excreted penicillin was extracted from the urine and re-administered to the patient!

We would love to hear yours! Please contact us and tell us something really interesting about science. It can be anything science-related because science is all around us in so many aspects of every day life. We look forward to hearing from you…..

You can email: Gillian Maunsell – gmaunsell@atlanticcorridor.ie

Top Irish Scientist Confirmed for Midlands Science Festival

Luke-ONeillWe are thrilled to announce Leading Immunologist, Professor Luke O’ Neill of Trinity College Dublin as one of our keynote speakers at this year’s festival. Luke is known for his pioneering work on the molecular understanding of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and he addressed an impressed audience for ‘An Evening of Drug Discovery’ at the festival in 2013. We are privileged to have Luke back in the Midlands again for Science Week. The full festival line-up will be announced very soon!

Luke was recently named amongst 11 researchers based in Irish universities who were ranked among the world’s top 3,000 by the multinational media body, Thompson Reuters. Inclusion means the person’s research is listed in the top 1% for the number of times their work has been cited by other scientists. I recently had a chat with Luke to hear some of his views on the image of science and various other factors in advance of this year’s event….

What first inspired you towards a career in science?
An interest in biology at school led me to study biochemistry at university. Once I started doing research and discovering new things I was then hooked as it was tremendously satisfying. I also felt I could make a difference by working in science and medical research.

What are the key factors that are going to be important to guarantee the future of Irish science in your opinion?
Continued government investment in research and in education is essential.

What do we need to do to make the image of science more appealing?
More science in the media – emphasising fun and excitement and how science can provide you with huge fulfilment.

What advice would you give to young people considering a career in science?
Come and join the adventure!

What do you enjoy the most about teaching the next generation of scientists?
There is a real satisfaction in explaining complex phenomena in ways that students can understand such that they themselves can get engaged in science.

Are there particular areas where we are particularly short of skilled graduates?
Probably in IT.

Why is ‘Science Week’ such an important annual event in Ireland?
The more science events we have the better, as it gets the message across that science is great!

A Little Taster….

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This year’s exciting programme will be launched in more detail in the coming weeks and will include a packed variety of engaging shows, exhibitions and hands-on fun demonstrations in classrooms and theatres alike! Here is some detail of the events we are planning.

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 entrepreneurs and researchers, science students and the general public from all over the Midlands.’

Some Highlights
Starting with the younger ones, we have plenty of events planned for our mini-scientists this year. We can look forward to a visit from the Junior Einsteins Science Club to some of our local schools. This fascinating club teaches children core aspects of Biology, Chemistry & Physics through fun experiments, messy ‘make and do’, quizzes and more fun!  We are also delighted to welcome back a firm favourite, the Reptile Zoo Village, to a number of schools where pupils will have the opportunity to pet a snake or a large spider if that is their desire! In addition, Ingenious Ireland, Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association (ISSTA) and the Rediscovery Centre will all provide something new for the 2014 Midlands Science Festival.

Science Week gives young people a chance to meet and hear from experts who have the ability to share their expertise and encourage the next generation to consider a career in science. Throughout the week, we will have several presentations from key people working in different science fields and we will also host a number of science and technology career’s workshops with key local companies and academia for 2nd level students.

As well as celebrating science in schools we intend to provide some really unique and inspiring events for the general public too. This will include the return of last year’s ‘Science Movie’ night, which is a unique audiovisual experience featuring some of the best science stories from the world of animation, radio and television. And with top scientists such as Professor Luke O Neill now confirmed, we can promise a number of alchemist cafes full of lively debate and discussion during the week. This is just a taste of what we have lined up and we look forward to revealing our full programme of events very soon!

Counting Down to Science Week

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”362″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”left” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It may still be a few months away but we already have our thinking caps on to come up with ways to make this year’s ‘Midlands Science Festival’ even bigger and more fun and action packed than last year. There will be an exciting range of new events with a promise of something for everyone but we will also bring back some of the most popular sessions from last year with the overall aim of inspiring, educating and entertaining through science!

We are also focusing on regional activities and events which will hopefully help young people around the Midlands in particular, develop an interest in STEM subjects beyond the confines of the curriculum and increase their awareness of potential careers in those areas. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) recently launched a new three-year plan for its Smart Futures initiative which is aimed at delivering a 10% increase in uptake of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects at second and third level by 2016. The overall objective is to close the skills gap which still exists in sectors such as ICT, life sciences, and engineering.

We want to be part of this collective endeavour and you can help us by taking science out of the lab and into the streets, public spaces, libraries and other fun places. You can help us celebrate science![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]