Thirteenth Galway Science and Technology Festival Launched at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Galway Science and Technology Festival, now in its thirteenth year, was formally launched today (October 12) at a function at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The launch at the Aula Maxima, was performed by Mr. William A Hawkins, the Chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc. One of the Festival's proudest boasts is of its ongoing engagement with the community – the grand finale involves 20,000 young people visiting the Festival Exhibition in a day-long event which has become one of the most popular on Galway's annual diary. The Festival – which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people – runs from November 8 to 21 and will culminate with the Festival Exhibition, which will be held at the new location in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI, Galway on November 21. This year's Exhibition will be formally opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. There is a great programme of events this year to choose from including Robert Hill s Cosmic Explorers using the latest 3D stereo technology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Mr Bug returns with his snakes, cockroaches and Tarantulas while Sue McGrath turns science into magic with her show based around negatively charged particles and magnets with the help of Sponge Bog Square Pants pet Gary . James Soper features with his show Galileo s Greatest Mistake and Galway's very own Mad Scientist Craig Steven's will conjure up foggy ice storms and make giant smoke rings. In the two-week run of the Festival, Galway's two third level colleges, NUI, Galway and GMIT, will open their doors to all the primary and second level students in the City and County. At NUI Galway there are many very interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop' which is very popular for secondary school students. There are Museums to explore including Ireland s only Computer & Communications Museum! showcasing the development of technology and where original computer games like Space Invaders are available. Guided tours of the NUIG Research Institutes, etc and also a series of informal talks Open Your Mind Seminar Series each Wednesday at lunchtime from November 10th. GMIT have various workshops to choose from including Medicines and how they work and Engineering and Energy Technologies . The regional finals of the ISTA PharmaChem Ireland Science Quiz for Leaving Certificate students will take place in GMIT on November 11th. There is also on offer the popular tour of Galway Bay FM and Dr Thompson s Laboratory will be available in the Galway Civic Museum. The Exhibition will also feature many of the shows included in the Programme, there will be up to 60 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. The 20,000 tickets for the event will be distributed to schools throughout Galway City and County in the weeks prior to November 21. The event would not be possible without an enormous commitment by education, by industry and by our sponsors, Festival Chairman Tom Hyland said today. "On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I am deeply grateful to Mr. William Hawkins, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Medtronic, for giving us his time to launch the Festival today here at NUI, Galway. I want to assure him that his personal interest, and the commitment of Medtronic, are deeply valued by all of us in the Galway Festival," said Mr. Hyland. Minister for Enterprise Trade and Innovation Mr. Batt O'Keeffe TD has praised the Festival as an important awareness-building exercise aimed at encouraging more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths courses. The 2010 Programme of events is available at www.galwayscience.ie and the exhibition will open at 11am on Sunday 21st November, 2010.
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