Galway Science and Technology Fest returns with a ‘Gangnam Style’ dancing robot

The 16th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week, sponsored by Medtronic, kicks off next Monday 11th November and runs for two-weeks until the November 24. The aim of the festival is to instil a love of science and technology in students from a young age.

There has been a fantastic uptake of shows by schools this year with over 135 shows visiting primary and secondary schools for free throughout Galway city and county during the two-week festival. The Galway Science and Technology Festival promotes several shows and workshops that have proven very popular with schools including, Rise My Dough, Green School Iniative, and DNA and Little Cells.

As part of National Science Week 2013, the festival will present the Discover Science and Engineering Smart Futures STEM Careers Roadshow in the J.E. Cairne’s Theatre, Arts and Science Concourse, NUI Galway, at 1.15pm on Tuesday November 12. Arlene O’Neill, science communicator and outreach officer for Crann will facilitate talks by engineers from Medtronic and SAP, career advice from CPL, and a talk on career opportunities in multinational companies by Brendan McDonagh, director of business intelligence at IDA Ireland.

The final day exhibition will take place on the NUI Galway campus on Sunday November 24, and will host 90 interactive stands and over 30 shows and workshops, representing areas in research, education, industry and the environment. For students and families interested in seeing more of the shows and workshops that will be visiting schools, they will have an opportunity to see them on the day at the festival exhibition. The shows are free and advance booking is advised due to demand. Up to 70 per cent of the exhibition shows will be available to book from Friday November 8 and the remainder will be available on the exhibition day. Bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.ie

Some of the exciting shows visiting primary schools include Scientastic Science Week Workshops providing a fully interactive children’s laboratory; the Bug Doctor which features on RTE, will introduce students to stick insects and much bigger creatures; Lego Education Workshops will introduce robotics to young children; Little Cells introduces junior and senior infants to the concept of cells that form our body; and Rise My Dough: The Role of Yeast Fermentation in Bread Production introduces students to the fascinating world of microorganisms.

Secondary schools will receive some great new shows including the highly anticipated Aldebaran, a NAO Humanoid Robot. Programmable and 57cm tall, the robot is capable of speaking, reacting to speach, can recognise faces and objects, and can even dance Gangham Style. Festival favourites making a welcome return include Dr Ken’s Circus, which reveals the scientific principles used by circus performers using gravity in their stunts; NUI Galway’s Digital Museum takes a fascinating look at Galway being Ireland’s first digital city; students will learn how to ‘bend it like Beckham’ in James Soper’s Science Shows; and Scientific Sue’s Chemistry Show will perform live science experiments.

NUI Galway’s festival shows are still available to book featuring educational tours to the geology, marine biology, and computer musuems and school talks. Students can look through a digital window into Galway’s past, visit ‘Galway’s Hidden Muesum’ The James Mitchell Geology Museum, travel down the bright road to Ireland’s energy future, attend workshop DNA at a Molecular Level, the NCBES Roadshow looks at the exciting future of biomedicine in Ireland, and Stem Cell Revolutions|Vision of the Future will look at the latest scientific developments in stem cell research.

GMIT will also host several events during the festival with the following shows still available to book. Developing a Sunstainable Energy Community workshops for third to sixth class students, tours of the freshwater and marine biology labs, Smartbay Ireland Workshops: Exploring the Subsea Environment, an ECar Schools Experience, part of a student energy research project, marine research laboratory workshops on The Ocean and Us: An Introduction to the Awesome Atlantic. Engaging Engineering with the Community looks at what GMIT students can do to use their skills in their community and in the world and the annual ISTA Science Quiz open to senior cycle students will take place at GMIT on Thursday November 14.

Details for booking NUI Galway and GMIT shows are available at www.galwayscience.ie

The Festival Exhibition will take place from 10am to 6pm on Sunday November 24 at NUI Galway and bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com from Friday November 8 to help people plan their day.

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