International Museum Day 2022

May 18th is International Museum Day and there’s a lot to celebrate. The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness about the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. Museums help us to understand so much about the world around us and our place in it. For the past number of  years, Midlands Science has had a partnership with the National Museum of Ireland for our outreach activities during Science Week and we want to wish our friends in the National Museum of Ireland a particularly happy day today on International Museum Day!!

The word museum comes from Latin and was originally from the Ancient Greek, Mouseion, which means a place or temple dedicated to the muses, the divinities of the arts in Greek mythology. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve, interpret, and display objects of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the study and education of the public. Museums have changed over time. Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the scientific desire for classification and for interpretations of the world, for example.

One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna’s museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi in modern Iraq at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The site dates from c. 530 BCE, and contained artifacts from earlier Mesopotamian civilizations. Notably, a clay drum label—written in three languages—was found at the site, referencing the history and discovery of a museum item. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts. These were often displayed in so-called “wonder rooms” or cabinets of curiosities. These contemporary museums first emerged in western Europe, then spread into other parts of the world. Museums are currently challenged like many institutions to address issues of sustainability, climate change and issues of deconolisation. In this way, the challenges faced by museums reflect the changes and challenges of wider society.

Science has a key role in museums as it facilitates research, conservation processes, further understanding and a variety of museum techniques which are vital to the research and education processes they provide. Museums are unique places for people to engage with history, ecology, science and a variety of topics and to understand how interconnected many topics are. Many would argue that museums have a vital role in building empathy and understanding. ELIF M. GOKCIGDEM’s book “Fostering Empathy through museums” showed how museums can hold a mirror to society and promote awe and wonder. The line between the arts and science is not to be seen when we experience a truly amazing museum, we are simply experiencing awe, wonder and curiosity.

We are proud to continue to work on outreach with the National Museum of Ireland and would encourage you all to visit some of the amazing museums Ireland has to offer. you’ll learn a lot about everything from astronomy to zoology and in many cases you’ll find a local link back to where you come from. Details on programmes from the National Museum of Ireland can be found on www.museum.ie and we’d also recommend Cats of the Louvre  by Taiyo Matsumoto. It’s  a surreal tale of the secret world of the cats of the Louvre, told by Eisner Award winner Taiyo Matsumoto. After-all who hasn’t dreamt about a night at the museum like Ben Stiller!!

Free Virtual Vikings Event for Longford Schools

Viking Hack Silver

Midlands Science is pleased to announce details of a unique, virtual Science Week event for Longford schools, which is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Education Department of the National Museum of Ireland.  This year’s events are also presented in partnership with the Heritage Office of Longford County Council where the National Museum will host a live virtual workshop from Dublin to interact with primary school pupils in Co. Longford. Children will learn about what archaeology and science can tell us about the past and about the arrival of the Vikings to Ireland and their impact on the Midlands.

 

Siobhan Pierce, Education and Outreach Officer, Archaeology & Natural History at National Museum of Ireland commented,

‘We are delighted to be offering this virtual National Museum of Ireland event to schools in Longford as part of Science Week 2021 and it has been specially designed to suit pupils who are currently in 3rd and 4th classes. This event will include the first public broadcast of newly created videos about the Vikings in Ireland and the Midlands, and the role that archaeology and science plays in understanding our past. The videos were filmed with Museum education staff in the Museum’s Viking Ireland exhibition and use the unique collection of objects from archaeological excavations in Dublin and around Ireland to explain the archaeology of the Vikings in Ireland and in particular in Co. Longford. We are looking forward to interacting with as many people as possible on the day.’

 

There is no limit to number of classrooms in Longford that can log in and classes will be provided with a private link to YouTube. They will be allowed to ask questions via the ‘chat’ feature on YouTube. Máiréad Ni Chonghaile, Heritage Officer of Longford County Council said,

“We are delighted to be partnering with the National Museum of Ireland and Midlands Science for Science Week. It is great to see that these types of education workshops can still take place even if we are not yet in a position to do so in-person. It is a fantastic opportunity to promote science education to Longford pupils in a unique way which also explores and teaches us about our rich archaeological heritage.”

 

This workshop will be hosted by National Museum of Ireland educ0ators Siobhán Pierce and Trisha Ryan and will show Viking material found in Co. Longford including the Lough Kinale Hoard from the 9th-10th century.”

This is the third year of the partnership between the Midland Science and National Museum of Ireland, which each Science Week since 2019, has resulted in specially created workshops and events for midland counties by staff of the NMI to people in the midlands. Midlands Science is focused on not only providing science and technology activities during Science Week but also believe it is really important to also explore the link between science and the arts, heritage and culture. This National Museum event is a fantastic way to do this. See www.midlandsscience.ie and joins us in a range of recorded events as we celebrate Science Week 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midlands Science to Partner with National Museum of Ireland for Unique Science Week events

Midlands Science is pleased to announce details of unique Science Week activities in Laois this year which are part of a new collaboration with the National Museum of Ireland which will see the National Museum bringing educational outreach activities to the Midlands region for Science Week.  This year’s activities in Laois are presented in partnership with the Heritage Office of Laois County Council.

Siobhan Pierce, Education Officer, Archaeology & Natural His tory at National Museum of Ireland commented,

‘We are excited this November to bring a day of events to communities in Laois, that will explore the rich archaeological evidence of life in the past in Ireland. Science Week is always busy for the Museum as we hold events to explain the science in archaeology and it is great to have a strong partnership which enables us to bring these events to the people who live in Portlaoise. Families can discover by joining in the Viking Artefact Challenge, just how archaeologists and museums discover evidence of everything from what Vikings ate, to their dress sense, and later that evening one of the Museum’s Archaeologists will give a public lecture for adults on one of the largest scientific projects of the Museum, the Bog Bodies Research Project. We were delighted when Jackie Gorman of Midlands Science approached us and to work with Heritage Officer Catherine Casey on this Science Week partnership. These events are the result of what is to the Museum an important partnership between the Museum with Midlands Science and the County Heritage Officers of the midland counties, and one which will continue for a number of years to plan and bring Science Week events to towns in the Irish midlands.’

The public event in Laois is appropriate for aged 14+ and will explore the his tory and science of bog bodies in Ireland with Isabella Mulhall, Assistant Keeper at the National Museum of Ireland. The NMI Bog Bodies Research Project was established in 2003 following the discoveries of two remarkably well- preserved Iron Age bog bodies in the Irish midlands. The scientific investigation which followed produced a wealth of exciting results.  Since 2003, further finds of bog bodies have come to light in Ireland’s peatlands and include the exceptionally well-preserved remains of Cashel Man unearthed in Cúil na Móna Bog in 2011 and subsequently radiocarbon dated to 2000 BC. This event entitled “Secrets of the Bog Revealed – The National Museum of Ireland Bog Bodies Research Project” takes place on Thursday November 14th at the Midlands Park Hotel and booking is available online on www.midlandsscience.ie.

Earlier that day at Treo Nua from 3pm to 5pm, there is a free family drop in event which does not require booking. This event will allow participants to explore the archaeological evidence of the Vikings with reference to Laois.  Did you know that archaeologists use lots of scientific techniques to figure out what life was like in Ireland hundreds and even thousands of years ago? Educa tors from the National Museum of Ireland will have lots of replica artefacts and raw materials, which you can pick up and take a closer look at. Use this evidence to solve the puzzle and discover how the Vikings cleverly used antler, wood, bone and amber in centuries past!

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘A key focus for Midlands Science is the provision of activities which demonstrate connections between science and culture. We are delighted to be working this year with the National Museum in Laois. The drop-in event for families and the public event for adults will enable us to reach new audiences and stress the important of science in understanding our heritage and culture. Our aim is to engage people of all ages and increase public awareness of science and it wouldn’t be possible to do this without the support of organisations such as the National Museum, so we are really grateful for the commitment and passion they have shown towards this outreach. We are also extremely grateful to the Heritage Office of Laois County Council whom have been so supportive, engaged and involved in our Science Festival since its inception and it’s a pleasure to be working with them on this project. Archaeology draws on a wide variety of science disciplines such as geology, physics, chemistry, statistics and botany, providing us with the tools with which to explore and understand our past and these events are a unique way to engage with science and heritage’

Catherine Casey, Heritage Office of Laois County Council said,

‘We were delighted to once again be supporting the annual Midlands Science Festival. Whether your interest today is in science, heritage, culture, engineering, maths or elsewhere, this year’s festival programme will have something special to spark the imagination and feed your curiosity. These events which takes place as part of national Science Week are a fantastic opportunity to promote science education  to Laois pupils and especially to reach young children with the more fun and hands-on workshops. Visi tors are also offered a unique chance to listen to real his torical and scientific data, broadening their understanding from a completely fresh perspective.’

 Pho to ©NMI