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

‘Travels in Chernobyl’ for Athlone during Science Week

Midlands Science is delighted to announce a key public event happening in Athlone next month as part of the annual Midlands Science Festival. This event will take place on November 12th at 6:30pm in Athlone Library and will explore 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.

Science teacher, writer and birdwatcher Rory Duffy will explore the science of Chernobyl and his recent visit to the site. The discussion will be moderated by toxicologist, Dr Craig Slattery of UCD and he will be 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.

Rory Duffy said,
‘A real understanding of science involves whole-life learning beyond the confines of the classroom so I am really looking forward to participating in this year’s Midlands Science Festival; which brings science out into the wider local community. Events like these provide unique opportunities to explore a whole range of subjects and themes with people of all ages, helping to improve public engagement and ideally leading to an increased uptake in STEM education courses. We need to really focus on supporting our young people in developing their core science and technology skills, both within and outside of the science lab. We need to work in collaboration with partners to raise awareness and encourage and influence participation in STEM and the annual Midlands Science Festival is an ideal way to increase our efforts to do this.’

Every year during Science Week and indeed throughout the rest of the year, the Midlands Science team endeavour to make science exciting for everyone by featuring lively, high profile talks, hands-on activities and fascinating demonstrations where the extraordinary properties of science, technology, engineering, and math collide!

You can find ways to join the conversation by checking www.midlandsscience.ie for details of events happening during Science Week 2019 across the region.

Myth Busting Cancer event in Tullamore

Local development company, Midlands Science are delighted to announce a public event which will take place during this year’s annual Midlands Science Festival. At this free event, Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research with the Irish Cancer Society and Dr Craig Slattery, Asst Professor of Toxicology & Regulatory Affairs at UCD will explore how citizens and patients can become more fully informed about cancer causes and cures, whilst also debunking some persistent myths around cancer causes and treatments. Questions and discussion with the audience will be a big part of the event which will take place in Offaly County Library, Tullamore on November 15th at 4:00pm.

Dr. Craig Slattery, Chairperson of Midlands Science said,

‘There are many persistent myths and half-truths around cancer causes, or about possible cures that might be available. These ideas are often presented attractively and can spread through social media and other media channels. But false information about cancer can lead to unnecessary anxiety among the public, and can interfere with patients making truly informed decisions about their cancer treatment. By highlighting some of these issues, the general public can be empowered to make better choices around their own health and treatment options. We are delighted to deliver this event in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society, and invite members of the public, young and old, to come along for what’s sure to be an interesting and informative afternoon.’

The Midlands Science Festival brings science, technology, engineering, and maths to an audience of all ages every year through demonstrations, talks, performances and debates. Events promoting science are central to ensuring that critical thinking is encouraged and this is essential in a developing a society where science sits firmly and securely promoting the wellness of its citizens. A key goal of the festival’s events team is to provide useful and informative discussion during a week that is also jam packed with fun, engaging workshops and performances for the younger folk.

Dr. Robert O’ Connor, Irish Cancer society commented,

‘We are pleased to work in collaboration with as many national and regional organisations as possible in order to help educate and inform the public and bust some popular myths around cancer. We also want to expand our outreach into communities and inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science. Schools, parents and corporate leaders must work together to find innovative ways to ignite curiosity and nourish a passion for STEM in young people. We are delighted to team up with Midlands Science and UCD for this event which is part of an overall festival which encourages people of all ages to learn more about science and the research that we so critically need for the future of our society.’

Maths Week 2019 in the Midlands

We had a great session on #careers involving #maths in #longford yesterday and today we are in #offaly and #westmeath. Cpl provided an independent and comprehensive overview of careers involving maths with a particular focus on software development all this week across the midlands and it’s great to be working with Ireland’s leading recruitment company and getting such an engaged response from students of all ages.

Superhero Scientist is back!

Barry W. Fitzgerald, BW Science, author of Secret Science of Santa Claus & Secrets of Superhero Science.
photo: Bart van Overbeeke

We are delighted that Dr. Barry Fitzgerald will be returning to the region for Science Week 2019 – 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 is also the editor-in-chief of the TU Delft open access journal Superhero Science and Technology, and he has published scientific papers in a number of areas such as physics, chemistry, physiology, and education.
Barry has seen the film Avengers: Infinity War more than 40 times and his superpower will always remain a closely guarded secret.

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. I’m really looking forward to speaking as part of the Midlands Science Festival about all superheroes, science, and lots more!’

So much to explore and discover!

Excitement is building about our free Discovery Day which takes place in Tullamore’s Sacred Heart School this November 9th! The event is free but booking is required and if you cannot attend, please cancel your place so it can be re-allocated.

We have Dr Mindflip’s Ultimate Learning Experience, the Exploration Dome, the Reptile Zoo, Anyone 4 Science, the 501st Legion, Dale Treadwell’s Dinosaur Show, Cell Explorers and much more !

Councillor Tony McCormack commented,

‘I am delighted to support local development company Midlands Science to help them present a day of fun, engaging events which really show the wide variety of science-related subjects in a fun and interactive way. People of all ages are invited to book a free place to get involved with a series of amazing experiments and activities, workshops, demonstrations and mini-lectures all aimed at engaging and inspiring the next generation through hands-on play and interaction. Midlands Science do amazing work all year round to support STEM and it’s great to see them working with the Sacred Heart School here in Tullamore.’

Come along and make some ice cream, meet a storm trooper, hold a tarantula, explore the night’s sky and visit the 1960’s with Dr Mindflip.

#steam #believeinscience

Throwback to Mental Fitness advice for World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day which celebrates awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping people to feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change. Today, people from over 150 countries around the world will unite in a fight for mental health education, to create awareness for those who are struggling or know somebody who is.

Back in 2015, we were delighted to have clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy who spoke to students in schools and at a packed out public event all about mental fitness as part of the Midlands Science Festival.

Eddie Murphy said,

‘I am passionate about our mental health and wellbeing. I work in the HSE where I manage a team providing psychology services to young children, teenagers, adults and older adults with emotional, intellectual and physical challenges. I am a clinical psychologist – which is like a GP of emotional health.’

We had some really successful mental fitness events that week and hope that some of the things that were shared on the night helped a few people.   This years theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘Suicide Prevention’, as set by the World Federation for Mental Health.

 

Ciara’s Journey to Tullamore College

As part of our co-created film with Offaly secondary school, Tullamore College, we were delighted to facilitate a visit from Westmeath based science fanatic, Ciara last week.

Ciara said,

“Thank you to the TY students who have created this video for Science Week. We all have a chance to make a difference, no matter how small and there is no age limit to learning about what changes we can make today”

www.ciarasjourney.ie

Exploring Science Capital..

We were delighted to visit the TY pupils of Mountmellick Community School this morning to explore everything science capital just before they received their Junior Cert results!
We want to wish all students the very best of luck today! We look forward to lots more science capital talks in the weeks and months ahead across the region. #believeinscience

Please bear with us!

A whole range of exciting science of events are currently uploading to our website over the coming days. Some events across the region are already booked out with waiting lists, more will be coming online. We look forward to seeing you during #scienceweek.

Don’t forget though we do free school workshops all year around so contact us for an expression of interest form and we’ll come to you!