Magical maths and cosmic odysseys at science exhibition


FORENSIC DETECTION, kitchen chemistry, cosmic odysseys and the benefits of maths in knitting were among the activities at the Galway Science and Technology Festival exhibition yesterday.

The annual event, which took place at NUI Galway, was opened by EU commissioner for research, innovation and science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. As thousands of visitors streamed through the NUIG campus, the “Latch-on” project by art and science students from NUIG and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) challenged young people to hunt out hundreds of ceramic samples of mini purple and green hemiparasitic plants on campus.

Pupils from Lawrencetown National School, Co Galway, showed how maths is an “essential part of knitting” due to its focus on numbers, patterns and symmetry.

Events ranged from the “pops and bangs” of Sue McGrath’s chemistry show to workshops on “Mad Science” and “Magic Mathworks”.

Fingerprint patterns were a source of constant fascination at GMIT’s forensic science stand, where you could learn how to identify forged cheques, determine which animal was at a crime scene or analyse DNA.

The one-day exhibition was the highlight of Galway’s two-week science festival, which involves up to 22,000 students in 130 primary and secondary schools.