The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival was launched yesterday, Monday 22 October, in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway by Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations and General Manager Galway Site Medtronic, the Festival’s Main Sponsor. The free two-week event runs from the 12–25 November and includes shows and activities for primary and secondary school students and a family day out at the Final Day Exhibition on Sunday 25 November at NUI Galway.
There is huge interest already in this year’s Festival following the success of last year when over 90 Primary Schools, encompassing over 15,000 students, and 24 Secondary Schools encompassing 6,000 students, enjoyed shows at their schools. Last year’s Festival culminated in the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway attracting over 20,000 visitors to the 80 interactive stands and 14 separate shows. This year there will be 20 separate shows.
The Festival 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 event. The Final Day Exhibition on the 25th November has once again been expanded as a result of the large attendance in 2011 and will host 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. 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.
There is an amazing programme of events to choose from including three brand new shows, Dr Ken’s Entertaining Science Circus Show where students will learn how circus performers make use of scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. Jumping Clay by Jim Daly an education programme for 3D clay modelling, that can be used in animation or just making popular art and Exploring Cells for 5th and 6th class students is a hands on practice of cellular and molecular biology for budding explorers.
Popular shows making a welcome return to schools again this year include the K’nex Roadshow, which is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system and Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome where students can discover the wonders of the night sky in their own school hall.
Jane McLoughlin’s Fun with Science presents easy science experiments and use of recycled materials and everyday foods to learn about science. See and experience the the magic of radio with a Galway Bay FM School Tour for your class and experience the technology involved in producing a live radio programme, or visit the National Computer and Communications Museum, which provides a fascinating insight to the development of communications and computing technology from ancient heiroglyphics to today’s internet.
NUI Galway is running many interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including 3-D Tours of the Universe at the Centre of Astronomy, which will take the audience on a trip from the earth to nearby starts, across our Galaxy to groups of stars, and finally through the whole Universe. The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway is running a Primary Schools Outreach programme, Kitchen Chemistry, aimed at introducing primary school children to the exciting world of Chemistry and the Zoology Museum and the Computer Museum will also be open on the day.
GMIT, currently celebrating their 40th anniversary, will host interesting workshops for students including Skin Deep, which demonstrates how transdermal skin patches work, How Engines Work ‘The Visible Stirling Engine’ and the return of the very popular Forensics Workshop looking at Poisons and Forgeries.
Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations and General Manager Galway Site Medtronic commented: “Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival over ten years ago. Since then, we are delighted to have experienced the journey that has seen the event evolve and flourish into one of the highlights in the calendars of the educational and science communities. This year’s theme is “Everybody Experimenting” and experimentation is something that makes Science and Technology so fascinating. Engaging the younger generation throughout this festival about the wonders and possibilities of Science and Technology will help ensure we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland’s future success as a nation. As Thomas A. Edison once said, ‘to have a great idea, have a lot of them’ and I have no doubt the action-packed programme over the next couple of weeks will generate lots of ideas and open minds to the many great possibilities and opportunities out there.”
Galway Science and Technology Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland added: “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic who for the last 11 years has been a wonderful sponsor of this event, which has grown and developed into a very significant vehicle for the promotion of the STEM subjects to our young people. We also appreciate the support of our partners Galway Enterprise Board, Discover Science and Engineering, Cisco and Boston Scientific who help bring excitement and fun to science and technology for children and families across the city and county.”
Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway said: “Around the world, Ireland’s reputation for technology, research and innovation is growing year by year. Galway’s annual Science & Technology Festival is a great opportunity to provide future generations of third level students with an enthralling experience of the boundless possibilities and the sheer fun of science and technology. We hope that the exciting festival line-up will inspire many of our young visitors both to make their future careers in science and technology and to help to continue Ireland’s burgeoning success.”
The Programme of events is available at www.galwayscience.ie and the Festival Exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday, 25November. Bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day.