South-east science festival excites interest in students

AWARD-winning science outreach centre CALMAST has arranged an action-packed south-east science festival, with events planned throughout Waterford and Wexford.

Among the venues for next week’s event will be the Waterford Institute of Technology (the home of CALMAST), Enniscorthy, Dungarvan, and Lismore.

The extended schedule, involving some of the world’s leading science organisations, is designed to spur interest in science among primary and second-level pupils and show them just how relevant it is to our everyday lives, according to CALMAST’s Sheila Donegan.

Among the key participants are the London Science Museum; Armagh Planetarium; GENIE (genetics network UK) and the Centre of Excellence in Science Learning at University of Nottingham.

Waterford IT presenters will also feature heavily in the programme. The show about the work of Lismore Scientist Robert Boyle will return from the Genoa Science Festival of the interactive and is being performed in the Lismore Heritage Centre by CALMAST’s Eoin Gill.

Meanwhile, during his talk at Dungarvan Town Hall, Dr Cormac O Raiffeartaigh will give an overview of the world’s largest scientific experiment, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, and how the work of Dungarvan born scientist Ernest Walton contributed to this work.

The south-east science festival is one of the region’s key events and CALMAST is delighted to involve many people at an even greater number of venues this year, Mr Gill said.

“Booking has been phenomenal again and we expect all the events to be booked solid again this year. We recorded 4,500 bookings on the first day bookings were taken.”

Included will be over 50 free workshops and events tailored to various levels from primary school children to those in the senior cycle at second level, as well as the general public.

Among the key attractions this year is “Dynamic DNA”, where secondary school pupils will get the chance to learn about DNA and genetics and take part in an experiment brought from the GENIE centre in Britain for their first show in Ireland.

The London Science Museum is returning with their show, It Takes Guts, running at Waterford Institute of Technology, Lismore, Enniscorthy and in Dungarvan, which encourages Junior Certificate students to follow their food trail from their mouth into the acid bath which is the human stomach, along metre after metre of guts until... it comes out the other end.

The south-east science festival is just one of four major events the Waterford Institute of Technology science outreach centre is heavily involved in throughout the year. It also organises Maths Week throughout the entire country, as well as organising Engineering Week , the Bealtaine Festival and Waterford SciFest, in addition to Science summer camps and science, engineering and technology activities throughout the year.

All events must be pre-booked at 051 302037.

www.scienceweek.ie

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