Students Celebrate the World of Engineering

Primary and secondary school students and their teachers from schools across the Midlands took part in numerous activities to mark Engineers Week in March. Engineers Week, run by the Engineers Ireland STEPS (Science, Technology and Engineering Programme for Schools) celebrates the world of engineering with primary and secondary pupils the target audience. The main aim of the week was to promote engineering – and to show the importance of the profession.


Midlands Science (a not for profit company which promotes STEM education [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths]) co-ordinated a programme of events in Offaly, Longford, Westmeath and Laois, in conjunction with Engineers Ireland, to celebrate the week. STEPS Engineers Week-themed lessons were conducted in classrooms across the four counties to help students discover the exciting world of engineering, and schools were able to access free engineering resources provided by the STEPS team. The detailed programme of events saw engineering professionals and third level institutions engage with their communities through classroom visits and online workshops to showcase their profession and highlighting the amazing ways engineers in Ireland are pushing boundaries of innovation.


CEO of Midlands Science, Jackie Gorman said: “Midlands Science promotes Engineers Week in Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly through a range of outreach activities for primary and secondary schools. Engineers Week is an annual campaign to promote engineering as a career and to highlight the importance of the profession to Ireland. Students of engineering develop a valuable set of skills that serve as a strong career foundation.”


She added: “During Engineers week the students were afforded the opportunity to explore the creative world of engineering and the limitless opportunities a career in the sector can offer. Engineers are problem-solvers; they have a flexible, creative approach to work; and they work well in teams. These skills are highly useful in every role from technician to chief executive, and in every industry from aerospace to healthcare to software.”


Business Development manager of Midlands Science Pauline Nally highlighted the success of the week and congratulated all the students that participated  “It was heartening to see the wide range of companies and organisations who supported us in promoting engineering in the midlands this year. Anyone wishing to discuss further such opportunities to promote in the STEM in the year ahead is welcome to get in touch,” she said.


John O’Donovan, Integra LifeSciences, Tullamore, added: “We are only too happy to support Midlands Science in promoting initiatives like Engineers Week that celebrate the world of engineering. There is a demand worldwide for engineers  because they are essential to the growth and development of every country. An engineering qualification offers a chance to do interesting work with interesting people, enhance people’s lives, and explore almost unlimited career opportunities.”

Now in its 16th year STEPS Engineers Week is funded by the Department of Education and industry leaders Wind Energy Ireland, Arup, the EPA ,ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).


“Having information about climate change available in schools is vital. Supporting the roll-out of this information through a series of Climate Change in a Box initiatives, while also marking Engineers Week, was a perfect combination for us. We are thrilled to see the enthusiasm and appetite within schools for information to help them play their part in the fight against climate change.” said Noel Cunniffe, CEO, Wind Energy Ireland

Science Week 2021 Success!

Midlands Science was delighted to recently present a full week of free interactive science and exploration as part of national Science Week. With plenty of virtual events ranging from entertaining animal workshops with Dublin Zoo and the National Reptile Zoo to informative public talks on subjects such as ‘Joint Health’ and the ‘Science of Chocolate.’ It was therefore no surprise that thousands of people attended this year. Most events were all held on a digital platform this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but the positive part of that was that more people from all over Ireland and not just the Midlands, were able to access activities than ever before.

Jackie Gorman, Director of the Midlands Science Festival commented,

‘I’m delighted at the success of our ninth Midlands Science Festival, which as promised was event bigger and better than the one we ran last year during Covid19 times. It was wonderful to see so many schools registering for workshops which all pupils could access, as previously these events may only been available for a few classes. Organising such a largescale event online is certainly a challenge, but one we have really enjoyed and I wish to thank Science Foundation Ireland, all of our partners, speakers, performers and sponsors once again for making this all possible.’

It was great to see audience of all ages, ranging from school pupils and teenagers to highly respected science experts, communicators participating this year. The festival is a fantastic way to really capture the imagination and show people that science can be fun. A large number of Midlands students also had the opportunity to avail of some high-level careers advice from companies such as 3M, Irish Manufacturing Research, Cpl Recruitment, Accenture, IPCC, The Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland and many others this Science Week.

Royal Society of Chemistry Education Coordinator, Ireland Dr John O Donoghue, spoke about the online event exploring ‘Sugar and spice and everything science – the Science of chocolate’ where scientists Christine Campbell and Craig Slattery explored everything from why we like the taste of some chocolates more than others to creating the perfect chocolate sauce. This event which was a huge hit with schools and families alike during Science Week.

Dr John O Donoghue said,

“It’s fantastic to see more chemistry during science week, especially something so accessible to lots of different audiences like the Science of Chocolate. The video is very professional and engaging, we’d love to see more initiatives like this in the future!

Midlands Science was also delighted to partner with Bord na Móna for this year’s festival in providing a guided walk and talk at Lough Boora Discovery Park in Co. Offaly. At this event, Bord na Móna safely hosted a number of young pupils from Kilcormac and provided an overview of the ecological, environmental and cultural value of raised bogs while also focusing on the biodiversity features of interest available at the Lough Bora Discovery Park.

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘We have been overwhelmed by the level of goodwill from local media, our providers and many other organisations and individuals throughout the region. The large public turnout shows the appetite for this type of online event and after another successful year, we can hopefully look forward to bringing the Midlands Science Festival back to this region again.’

The virtual Discovery Day which was supported by Integra LifeSciences drew an audience of thousands of young people nationwide and included the Exploration Dome, the Reptile Zoo, Anyone 4 Science, Dale Treadwell’s Dinosaur Show, Anyone4Science and more. People of all ages had the opportunity to explore the night’s sky and learn about the science is Superheroes as well as meeting some very interesting reptiles and dinosaurs and this was all done online. Science Week is a wonderful opportunity for young science enthusiasts and their families to see what’s new and innovative in the world of science and technology.

Sinead Harten of Boher School in Co. Offaly said,

‘We were delighted to work with Midlands Science to ensure that our pupils had the opportunity to avail of events for Science Week and this has been a real treat for them after this past year and a half. It is extremely important that schools provide as many young people as possible with inspiring experiences of science and to encourage them to consider science as a subject choice when they are older. The workshops that are run by Midlands Science extend our pupils’ understanding of day to day science but also provide an opportunity for creativity and learning which is what science should be all about, especially for younger children.’




Midlands Science Present Virtual Discovery Day with Integra

 The Midlands Science Festival, which begins on November 6th with a virtual Discovery Day, celebrates the world of science with imaginative programming that is bursting with lively interviews and career talks, film productions, hands-on workshops and interactive demonstrations for people of all ages.

John O’Donovan, Plant Manager, Integra LifeSciences Tullamore commented,

“Encouraging more young people to enjoy and pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education is very close to our hearts at Integra LifeSciences. We are proud to be working with Midlands Science this year once again for their annual Discovery Day to help spread messages about the importance of STEM. The events that Midlands Science run all year round encourage pupils to think like scientists and make the science subjects more meaningful and accessible. The Midlands Science Festival plays a key role in starting conversations about the role of STEM in society and the hope is that this inspires our local students to explore careers in these areas.”

Each year, Science Week offers workshops and events which span a diverse range of subjects that encompass science in the broadest sense, promising something for everyone.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘As an organisation, we took the decision to keep our festival on a virtual platform once more for 2021 because while some of our audiences may be ready to revert to hosting events in-person, others are not. Our Festival aims to connect people with scientists, engineers, and technologists and we managed to successfully do that online last year with plenty of engaging activities for adults and young people to enjoy. This year will follow a similar pattern beginning with our Discovery Day, which is kindly supported by local medical device company, Integra Lifesciences. This will be aired on November 6th and will feature a range of fun and exciting activities such as the Reptile Zoo, Exploration Dome and Superhero Science. This event is free of charge but must be pre-booked via our website.’

Dinosaur Fun with Dale!

We had so much fun this weekend with Dale Treadwell from Naturally Wild and (the children loved it too!) 🙂

Dale participated in our fantastic Discovery Day which took place this weekend as part of the annual Midlands Science Festival and Science Week. The children loved Dale’s Dinosaur show and they were particularly excited and surprised to see a giant dinosaur entering the Sacred Heart School dining hall in Tullamore!

Dale said,

‘I’m an Australian with a background in Rainforest ecology but I’ve been living in Ireland now for 18 years, I build school gardens, plant native Irish Trees, write Children’s books and have been on Telly with Dustin the Turkey and Albie the Why Guy..For this Science Festival this year I thought I would do something different and bring you my own backgarden from Australia but with a twist.. it’s old really old from about 100 million years ago!!!’

Discovering Science in Tullamore and beyond..

Thanks to the wonderful people of #tullamore – all 600 of you who came along and explored the International Space Station, handled tarantulas, made ice cream and made friends with dinosaurs. You were all truly amazing and we had such good fun and we can’t wait to do it all over again in 2020 !!

Huge thanks to Integra Lifesciences for encouraging such great interest in #stem for all ages through hands-on fun experiences.

The Discovery Day we held today is a wonderful opportunity for small science enthusiasts and their families to see what’s new and innovative in the world of science and technology. It is also the perfect chance for someone who is just tipping their toe in to science for the first time to participate in  activities and live performances by science explorers, communica tors and experts whose mission it is to educate, entertain, inform and inspire. We would also like to thank the staff of the Sacred Heart School for the use of their school facilities and for all their support and help in managing the delivery of this wonderful event to local people.

Jackie Gorman, Direc tor of the Midlands Science Festival said,

‘Our Discovery Day really was a huge success today. We are delighted through support from Science Foundation Ireland and a number of key partnerships to be bringing a number of exciting science events to the Midlands again this year. We will be exploring everything from climate change to the science of Harry Potter, from bog bodies to quantum physics. Science Week is the essence of diversity. Science can help us understand what is happening and also provide us with the information to make different choices and pursue solutions in the future. We are delighted to again be working with partners such as the local heritage offices, local partnership companies and libraries.’

#science #scienceweek #believeinscience