Virtual Science Week events in Westmeath with National Museum of Ireland

[6:16] The Ballinderry Sword, Ballinderry, Co. Westmeath.
Ninth century ad.
The sword was the principal weapon used by the Vikings, most of the iron blades with their often carborised steel edges probably being imported to Scandinavia where the hilt ornament was generally added. This iron sword from County Westmeath with its silver mounted handle is the finest surviving specimen of a Viking sword from Ireland and one of the most impressive anywhere. It has an elaborate, pattern-welded blade inlaid with the name of the sword-maker VLFBEHRT. Blades inlaid with the name of Ulfbehrt were exported from the Rhineland and have been found as far east as Russia. Most swords found in Ireland from this era probably originated in Norway and have been found in graves in the Dublin area (at Islandbridge, College Green, Bride Street and Dollymount) where they appear mainly to have been interred with the extended burials of warriors, although some of the ritually bent examples may have accompanied cremations as they did in Scandinavia. The present specimen is from a crannóg excavated by the Harvard Archaeological Mission to Ireland in 1932, a site interpreted as the homestead of a farmer or local king. SA 1928:382. L. 92.5 cm.
Mahr 1928, 204–52; Walsh 1998.

Midlands Science is pleased to announce details of two unique, digital activities in Westmeath which are part of a collaboration with the National Museum of Ireland for Science Week 2020.  This year’s events are also presented in partnership with the Heritage Office of Westmeath County Council.

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

‘We are delighted to be bringing a special, online virtual event to a school in the Midlands for Science Week and we are also looking forward to delivering a family workshop to wider communities in Westmeath, which will explore our rich Viking heritage.  We will host this event live from the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin where we will interact with Athlone primary school pupils so that they can learn about what archaeology can tell us about the arrival of the Vikings to Ireland and their impact on Westmeath. It is wonderful to have a strong partnership with Midlands Science and the County Heritage Officers of the Midlands counties so that we can continue to make these events happen during Science Week even if this year, they cannot be delivered in person. Our family workshop will be hosted live from the Museum with National Museum of Ireland educator Trisha Ryan and will show Viking material found in Dublin and Viking finds from Ballinderry Crannog, Co. Westmeath, including a sword and gaming board. This event was specially created for children 7-12 years old and we are looking forward to interacting with as many people as possible on the day.’

Melanie McQuade, Heritage Officer of Westmeath County Council said,

‘We were really excited to be partnering with the annual Midlands Science Festival and the National Museum of Ireland for these events which takes place as part of national Science Week. They are a fantastic opportunity to promote science education to Westmeath pupils and families as we examine the archaeological evidence for the arrival to the Viking activity in Ireland and in particular Westmeath. Most Viking finds from Ballinderry and other rural sites reflect everyday activities and include tools used in spinning, weaving and sewing and tools and utensils of wood, iron and bronze. Ballinderry, however, also produced a number of exceptional finds, which we will learn about on the day of the workshop.’

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘Midlands Science is focused on not only providing science and technology activities during Science Week but it is also really important that we explore the link between science and the arts, heritage and culture. Our partnership with the National Museum of Ireland and the Heritage Office of Westmeath County Council allows us to reach a whole other audience, helping us to promote science in a unique way which also helps us to understand and explore our past. Our school event will take place on November 10th during the annual Midlands Science Festival and our family event, Virtual Vikings, will take place on the same date at 3:30pm. Booking is available for this online on www.midlandsscience.ie so join us as we celebrate science and heritage in the Midlands for  Science Week 2020.’

 

 

Midlands Science Executive Shortlisted for LIFT Ireland Award

LIFT Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation that works to build positive leadership skills in communities across Ireland. It created an awards initiative to recognise strong leadership at all levels of Irish society from grassroots organisations to corporate boardrooms. Midlands Science Business Development Executive, Pauline Nally, was recently shortlisted for one of these awards. We caught up with her to find out more…

 

Pauline, you are Business Development Executive for Midlands Science. Can you tell us a little bit about what that work involves?

 

My role can be quite varied depending on the needs of Midlands Science and the particular time of year but in the main, it is my job to fundraise, to produce high quality pitches and presentations, to identify and speak with relevant business and academic contacts who may be interested in collaborating with Midlands Science and track those leads. Building business relationships with existing clients and sponsors is also essential.  I have a passion for bringing value to non-profits and sourcing new opportunities and partners for the organisation is the key aspect of my role.

 

You have recently been shortlisted for an award in Dedication & Determination, having participated in LIFT Ireland’s programme over the past 12 months. Congratulations!

Can you tell us about your experience of availing of this programme and why leadership skills are now more important than ever?

 

I am truly honoured to have been shortlisted for a LIFT Ireland leadership award in dedication and determination. LIFT aims to get the people of Ireland talking about values and leadership and to grow our self-awareness which then informs both our decision-making and determination in our professional roles. The wonderful training that I experienced with LIFT has helped me to really understand where I need to focus attention in order to improve the quality of how I approach both my work and my life in general. I believe that when you are really aware of your values, you will not only increase your chances of success but will also encourage and bring others along with you towards achieving your collective corporate goals.

 

The values of LIFT impact our homes, our families, our friendships, our communities and our workplaces. What are some of the most important skills you feel you have acquired that you can take into your professional role going forward?

 

I am really looking forward to the practical day-to-day application of this facilitator training and to focusing on the core values including customer service excellence, innovation and continuous learning. Excellent communication skills are so important in my role as I interact with a diverse range of individuals and organisations at all levels of business on a daily basis. It is also so important that I have a positive and proactive attitude to driving new business and partnerships for Midlands Science so that involves building my knowledge about science education and promotion and being willing to learn about the sector and how it is developing all the time. As the escalating Covid-19 crisis is forcing the cancellation of many physical events, those of us involved in fundraising really need to think fast and strategically in order to prepare for the times ahead and one of the critical things that this training has taught me is to keep communicating and at all times in the most considerate and empathetic way.

 

What did you enjoy most about the training with LIFT and would you recommend it to others?

 

It was really great to engage and connect with people across all levels of the others organisations who partook in the training. During a time which is increasingly challenging for everyone, it provided a lovely opportunity to reflect on my work and think about some small changes I could quite easily make. There was something very reassuring about networking with others and realising that everyone has their difficult days but it is all about taking note and then having the tools to keep pressing forward to the next opportunity in a positive and confident way. I am delighted that I got involved and am very pleased to be nominated for this important award.

Midlands Science Announce New Partnership with LIFT

Building Leadership Skills in the Community

Midlands Science, was delighted to recently announce details of a new collaboration with LIFT (Leading Ireland’s Future Together) which was established to build each one of us into a better leader. Each partner makes a commitment to LIFT, to participate in the learning process and to facilitate further discussion within their organisation on the value of positive leadership.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented,

‘Each of us is a potential leader and this leadership can take place within both our own personal and familial or indeed our professional working roles and when we partake in any corporate or community-based team. We are delighted to announce that we will be teaming up with LIFT. We are really looking forward to developing our personal leadership qualities and abilities and to utilising all of the valuable skills that we have learned thus far in our own work, with groups of people we will be engaging in the year ahead.’

LIFT teaches and enables people to make better decisions, to ask better questions and to influence each other positively.  The leadership values used by LIFT in its training programmes are Listening, Positive Attitude, Respect, Competence, Determination, Empathy, Accountability, Honesty.

LIFT Co-founder, Joanne Hession said,

“LIFT is delighted to partner with Midlands Science. We greatly admire the mission of Midlands Science and we are so excited to build leadership muscle with their team who will have such an influence around Ireland. The LIFT team is completely behind them as we work towards a better Ireland and brighter future. We can’t wait to train team members as certified LIFT Facilitators.”

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘By taking the decision to become a LIFT Ireland partner, Midlands Science is committed to both strengthening our own leadership muscle and raising the level of leadership in the organisation itself and also sharing the impact of this learning with the increasing number of corporate and academic stakeholders that we are fortunate enough to work with. We are also pleased and privileged to be joining a network of organisations and individuals whose mission it is to collectively drive positive leadership change in Ireland and the hope is that we, as LIFT facilitators will now have the tools to bring this to people in our communities who need it.’

#LIFTIreland

 Note: ‘Everyone is welcome to join a free online LIFT leadership session. Book here: https://liftireland.ie/online-leadership-sessions/ to experience LIFT for yourself.”