The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway officially opened on Monday 12th November at the Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. Attending the opening were Galway City Mayor, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival, John MacNamara, Director of R&D Medtronic, Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway and Michael Carmody, President of GMIT.
The Festival runs from the 12th–25th November and includes free shows and activities for primary and secondary school students and a family day out at the Final Day Exhibition on Sunday 25th November. It aims to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people by bringing shows to schools throughout Galway city and county over the two-week free event. John MacNamara, Director of Research & Development at Medtronic commented, “This festival is so important in terms of engaging the interest of the younger generation in Science and Technology and the exciting career possibilities open to them, ensuring we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland's future success as a nation.”
Primary schools can book shows to visit their school for free including Cell Exploration for 5th and 6th class students, a hands on practice of cellular and molecular biology for budding explorers. Jumping Clay by Jim Daly is an education programme for 3D clay modelling, that can be used in animation or just making popular art. Jane McLoughlin’s Fun with Science presents easy science experiments and use of recycled materials and everyday foods to learn about science.
Additional primary school shows include Modern Day Medicines, a half-day workshop at GMIT for 5th and 6th class students that will explain how everyday medicines that we buy in pharmacies work to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will run a Primary Schools Outreach program, Kitchen Chemistry, aimed at introducing primary school children to the exciting world of Chemistry.
Secondary schools can also avail of free shows including Dr Ken’s Entertaining Science Circus Show, which demonstrates how circus performers make use of scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. The Strange World of Forces with Paul McCrory, a fast-moving interactive show exploring the forces that are so important in allowing us to move. Celestia and Stellarium Workshops will take students on an interactive journey through the Solar System highlighting latest discoveries. Bend it like Beckham by James Soper NCBES Roadshow will present an informative presentation outlining the links between Science, Engineering and Medicine. Cosmic Explorers with Robert Hill demonstrates how the Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos and helped us to better understand the universe in which we reside.
Both primary and secondary schools can book Galway Bay FM School Tours allowing students experience the technology involved in producing a live radio show. The Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway will host 3-D Tours of the Universe taking students on a trip from the earth to nearby stars, across our Galaxy and through the whole Universe. Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome allows students discover the wonders of the night sky in their own school hall and The National Computer and Communications Museum will provide a fascinating insight to the development of communications and computing technology from ancient heiroglyphics to today’s internet.
During the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway on Sunday 25th November visitors can enjoy over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment and 20 separate shows for all ages. It will take place at the Bailey Allen Hall, Orbsen and IT Buildings and has expanded to the Aula Maxima and new Engineering Building at NUI Galway. Shows include the K’nex Roadshow, which is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system, Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allows children get up close to friendly tropical animals and even stroke a lizard and a snake.
Other Exhibition shows include Killaloe Exploration Dome, a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show with Declan Holmes is an interactive hands on science show where students participate in launching rockets and flying helicopters. A Lego Competition sponsored by Lego and Smyth’s Toys Superstore offers a ‘Technic Lego Challenge’ where participants have 50 minutes to build a car of the future. Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show will demonstrate wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting lime and Black John The Bogus Pirate, is a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun.
Full Programme details available at www.galwayscience.ie and the Festival Exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday 25th November. Bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day.