Galway Science & Technology Festival Exhibition Expects 20,000 Visitors

Monday, 21 November 2011

The 14th annual Galway Science and Technology Festival which is part of National Science Week will run until Sunday, 27 November. The two-week free event has provided shows, demonstrations and activities to 130 primary and secondary schools encompassing 22,000 students and will culminate with a fantastic family day out at the Festival Exhibition on Sunday, 27 November at NUI Galway.

The Festival aims to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people by taking shows to primary and secondary schools throughoutGalwaycity and county.

The free Festival Exhibition on Sunday, 27 November, will be attended by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and will take place from 10am-6pm at the Bailey Allen Hall, Orbsen and IT Buildings at NUI Galway and other campus venues. There will be hundreds of scientists, engineers and business innovators showcasing their work at 78 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment and visitors will be able to participate in experiments, watch demonstrations and discuss ideas with researchers.

Different exhibits will allow the public to learn more about topics such as life-saving medical devices, renewable energy, a Cloud Computing presentation by 6th class students fromBriarhillSchool, IT in the future, Kitchen Chemistry, and much more.

NUI Galway’s museums will all be open on the day, and the popular 3D Tour of the Universe makes a welcome return. Visitors can experience 78 exciting interactive exhibition stands from severalGalwaybased science and technology companies. A free Park and Ride service atCorribVillage,Newcastle,Galwaywill be in operation on the day. This year a booking system is in place through www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day.

Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented: “The Festival Exhibition has become a calendar highlight for families and educators with over 20,000 visitors to last year’s exhibition. We are very thankful to NUI Galway for providing facilities on campus to host the 78 interactive exhibitions this year. The Board of Galway Science and Technology Festival would also like to express their gratitude to main sponsor Medtronic and to all of the other sponsors including The Galway Enterprise Board, Discover Science & Engineering and Boston Scientific – Avaya, SAP, GMIT, Cisco, IDA Ireland, HP, Covidien, Merit Medical,LakeRegion,EnterpriseIreland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Marine Institute and Transitions Optical. All of these companies in their own way help bring excitement and fun to science and technology for children and families across the city and county.”

Last week students enjoyed school shows like the K’NEX Roadshow which fosters an interest in science and robotics, an explosive Dr Thompson’s Laboratory and the Mad Science Air Blast Show. This week schools can look forward to shows like Magic Mathworks, Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show, Cosmic Explorer’s with Robert Hill, Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome and Mr Bug with Matt Lewis.

Gerard Kilcommins, VP Global Operations & General Manager Medtronic commented: “In 2001, Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival and, while we had no doubt in our minds about the importance of the initiative locally, we could not have imagined it would develop into such a successful event and highlight in the calendars of the educational and science communities. Now, more than ever, harnessing the power of science and technology, and engaging our younger generation in this area so that we can produce high-calibre scientists and engineers in the future, is pivotal toIreland's economic destiny.”

NUI Galway is running many interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including Computer Game Programming with Kinect, an invitation to Senior Cycle Physics Students to the newEngineeringBuildingand a talk for students, parents and teachers on Cyberbullying.  The Zoology andGeologyMuseumwill be open for tours along withIreland’s onlyComputer & CommunicationsMuseum. 

President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, commented: “For many years, Galway Science and Technology Festival has generated real excitement for young people about the wonders of science and technology. As a University, NUI Galway shares this belief in the importance of making science and technology attractive to the next generation. Why? Because never before has Irish industry and society depended so much on bright, talented graduates to buildIreland's capacity in technology, research and innovation.  We are delighted to work closely with the Festival as it gives us in the University a chance to open our doors, so that we can share the boundless possibilities and the sheer fun of science!”

GMIT will host tours of all facilities including science, technology and engineering laboratories. There are also various interesting workshops for students including Modern Medicines, The Chemistry of Smoking Addiction and NicotinePatches and a Forensic Investigation.

This year a Mentoring Program by local engineers is available to senior cycle students looking for career advice. Galway Senior Hurler and Enginner at Medtronic, Damien Joyce is one such mentor. Engineers from over 11 different companies participating in this initiative will visit schools and talk to the students about their subject choices, give practical career advice and share their work experience.

To book shows visit galwayscience.events@gmail.com. The 2011 Programme of events and School Booking Forms are available at www.galwayscience.ie

 

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Author: Press and Information Office, NUI Galway
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