Science Week 2018: unlocking the marvels of science and tech for all
Hundreds of events to take place nationwide in November, providing a brilliant opportunity to explore and learn about the world of science and technology that surrounds us
The Lifetime Lab Primary Science Quiz takes place in Cork on Wednesday, November 14th, where primary school teams battle it out to win the competition.
Given the absolute dizzying pace of scientific and technological advancement in the times we live in, is it any wonder we take science for granted?
Science Week, the annual national celebration of science, technology and engineering, offers the perfect opportunity to learn about the marvels of our world in an accessible way.
Co-ordinated by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research, Science Week 2018 will run nationwide from November 11th to 18th.
With numerous fun and fascinating science-related events being run countrywide, there is something for everyone, young or old.
The week will include public engagement events, family activities, open days, science tours, school visits/events, adult talks, exhibitions, shows, workshops and more.
Among the key events for this year’s Science Week, there will be 12 regional science festivals that will host a wide range of events in Cavan/Monaghan, Cork, Eureka, Festival of Farming and Food (Teagasc), Galway, WexSci, Limerick, Mayo, the Midlands, Sligo, Southeast, Tipperary.
Another is the Dublin Science Week Family Open Day on Saturday, November 17th, at the Convention Centre Dublin.
Along with amazing shows hosted by Scientific Sue, James Soper and lots of volunteers, there will be fun interactive workshops and exhibitions. Attendees will have the chance to look at the wonderful world of cells and discover the physics of kite flying through an interactive ‘make and take’ workshop. There will also be the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of physics, turn food and science into a multi-sensory experience and meet some other brilliant guests on the day.
[Tickets for Science Week 2018 are available now at scienceweek.ie]
Dr John O’Donoghue, RSC Chemistry Education Coordinator, School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) will be on hand at the Convention Centre to help host a chemistry experiment involving fruit cordials, which proved a big hit with children attending the National Ploughing Championships earlier this year.
O’Donoghue has been actively involved with Science Week for a decade, and will be participating in and attending a number of events in Cork and Dublin across the week. One of his highlights is the Lifetime Lab Primary Science Quiz taking place in Cork on the evening of Wednesday, November 14th, where dozens of primary school teams will battle it out to win the engaging and fun competition.
Another event he will help host is the annual Careers in Chemistry seminar in Trinity College Dublin, also on Wednesday, November 14th, which will highlight the diversity of careers that studying chemistry can lead to.
And while there might be an impression that Science Week is all about the kids, that is absolutely not so, stresses O’Donoghue. “There are some really interesting adult events too, such as the Cocktail and Chemistry evening in Cork, which looks at the science of cocktails and is basically where alcohol and alchemy collide.”
Cocktail Chemistry takes place on Thursday, November 15th, at Edison Cocktail Bar on Washington Street, Cork where a team from Queens University, Belfast will discuss how science can change your perception of colour and taste. Two sessions are available (7.00pm and 8.30pm) and tickets are €10, which includes sample cocktail tastings and a specially created Cork Science Festival cocktail to finish.
Another adult event of note is Suzanne Kane’s and PJ Gallagher’s Dubland podcast, which features a Science Week takeover at the Laughter Lounge on Tuesday, November 13th.
A number of other funded events will also be showcased throughout Science Week, including events by Louth County Council, The Ark Theatre, The British Council of Ireland, Dublinia, Cool Planet Experience, Sirius Science, Imaginosity, The Science Gallery, SFI Research Centre ADAPT, the Rediscovery Centre, Blackrock Castle Observatory and Maynooth University.
[A detailed list of events and links to get tickets is available at sfi.ie/events]
If you absolutely can’t attend any of the myriad Science Week events in person, fret not; there are other ways to take part.
RTE will broadcast Growing Up Live, a TV programme hosted by Angela Scanlon, over the course of three consecutive nights (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 8pm on RTE One) in front of a live studio audience in Trinity College Dublin, which will unlock our understanding of a human lifetime, from birth to death.
Science broadcaster Kathriona Devereux will be also be returning to her reporting duties with RTE series 10 things to know about ... , which will be covering some of the many highlights of Science Week. While she noted that there will be plenty of Science Week-related content on our TV screens, radios and online; “if people do get up off their couch and go to any of the events that are on I think they will always be inspired as it is generally a very uplifting experience. So even with topics like cancer and environmental damage what is uplifting is that there are really smart people working on these problems to solve them for us all, and kids are inspired to maybe one day get involved with that.”
This year, Science Foundation Ireland is once again running its #StopAndAsk campaign on social media during Science Week. Last year was the inaugural year of the campaign, which enables conversations between the general public and the scientific community in Ireland. So use the #StopAndAsk hashtag and tag @ScienceWeek on Twitter to have your science-related questions answered by a team of scientific experts.
John O’Donoghue will be one of the friendly scientists on hand to answer chemistry related questions. “The idea is to ask questions that are maybe on your mind, stuff that you want to know, essentially we are encouraging people to ask anything; there is no question too silly, so just ask.”
For more on Science Week 2018, see:
Follow the #scienceweek hashtag on social media for further info.