Frequently Asked Questions
What is Midlands Science – What do we do?
Midlands Science is a not for profit company which promotes STEM education [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] in the midlands of Ireland. It is funded by a mixture of public and private funding and it has a voluntary board of directors. We deliver STEM outreach projects on time, on budget and with significant impact in terms of target audience engagement, media engagement and long term development outcomes.
What is the Midlands Science Festival?
The Midlands Science Festival is a seven-day programme of over 100 events running throughout the Midlands with the aim of celebrating science, maths, engineering, technology and its importance in our lives. This exciting and innovative week provides an opportunity for people to participate in events and activities that showcase science in a variety of ways and the carefully planned programme is hugely varied with something for people of all ages and abilities.
The festival is part of national ‘Science Week’, which is Ireland’s biggest annual promotion of science to the general public. The week-long schedule of events across Ireland each November aims to make science more interesting & accessible to children & adults alike. The 1st national Science Week took place in 1996, and since then it has grown to around 800 events a year. Events take place in schools, colleges, universities, libraries, companies and other public places and are run mainly by volunteers. The national media and promotional campaign is coordinated by SFI’s Discover Programme. There will be opportunities to meet real scientists & learn how recent discoveries and research affect our daily lives. All of the events are offered at no charge to participants.
How can an organisation partner with Midlands Science?
There are a number of ways in which you can support the work of Midlands Science . Our work would not be possible without the support of our partners, funders and sponsors who help us achieve our objective to promote the important message that science is all around us. Please contact our Business Development Executive, Pauline Nally on firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to discuss potential partnership opportunities.
What are the dates?
Science Week will run nationwide from 8th-15th November in 2020.
Where are all of the events held?
The Science Festival is on all across the Midlands counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath. Participants also attend from parts of Kildare and Roscommon. Check to see which venue the event you are attending is on by visiting this site in the coming months. For example, a lot of the talks for adults are held in more informal settings such as libraries or theatres to create a more intimate, café-style environment but we also hold events in more traditional venues such as classrooms, labs or lecture halls. Last year we hosted some events in sports halls, coffee clubs, hotels and libraries.
What ages is this week geared towards? Is it more primary than secondary school focused?
With a range of interactive activities, there is always more than enough in terms of variety of topics & events to cater for all ages from very young national school children to teenagers right up to adults who are either science professionals or experts themselves or people who are merely curious about the exciting world of science.
Who organises the Midlands Science Festival?
Midlands Science is a local development company based in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. We are responsible, in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland and a number of other local, regional & corporate partners, for managing the planning and execution of the festival for Science Week in the Midlands. All of the partners involved share an enthusiastic approach to science, maths, engineering and technology and a shared goal of inspiring the next generation of innovators and researchers. The continuing success of the Midlands Science Festival depends on the great efforts of the organisers and the enthusiasm of participants & spectators alike.
Established in the year 2000, Midlands Science works to promote activities that will improve the social and economic well-being of Midlands’ people, accelerate the growth and sustainability of local businesses and optimise regional participation in the highest quality education. Midlands Science values international connections in order to work towards a key goal where the Midlands becomes a more attractive base for technologically focused projects and increasing STEM literacy amongst the local population. Some of the most recently developed Midlands Science projects include the delivery of the new initiative ‘Science with Inspirational Mentors’ or SWIM in local schools and a number of other economic development projects.
How many people participate in the festival?
We are hoping that this year will be even better & bigger but the extremely large public turnout totalling over 9000 people in attendance at the last in person festival (2019) shows the appetite for this type of educational event in the Midlands region & one of the most encouraging factors is the diversity of the audiences that we attracted during the week.
Are the festival events free of charge?
It is our goal to keep the Midlands Science Festival free where possible. However some of the venues & facilities require a nominal admission fee. Keeping an event this large free to the public is a significant undertaking & with this in mind, we are incredibly thankful for the support of generous sponsors & corporate partners.
Why should I take part in or attend an event during the festival?
People tend to have their own unique reasons and benefits for taking part; sometimes it is to simply encourage STEM education to all ages. For others, it is about doing something different and something fun regardless of age profiles. There is such a wide variety of different events going on throughout the week; there really is something for everyone! There are live shows and performances by science experts, communicators and researchers, some more serious than others and some with a humorous twist! There are exhibits, interactive displays, networking opportunities, demonstrations and investigations, career talks & controversial debates, seminars & workshops!
How can I find out what’s happening in my area?
You can keep an eye on this website for its news section and also on Midlands Science’s Facebook page and on Twitter by following our virtual ambassador Curious Kim @curiouskim1
Can I contact a member of the Midlands Science team with any queries?
You can contact a member of the team by emailing us at the following addresses:
Jackie Gorman email@example.com
Gillian Maunsell firstname.lastname@example.org
Pauline Nally email@example.com
Postal address: Midlands Science, Block 6, Central Business Park, Clonminch, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. R35 F8K0
Phone number: 057 93 239 02