14th annual Galway Science and Technology Festival launched at NUIG

The 14th annual Galway Science and Technology Festival will run from November 14 to 27. The festival was officially launched this week in the Orbsen Building in NUI Galway by Gerry Kilcommins, vice president of global operations and general manager of Medtronic. The event aims to increase the uptake and popularity of science, technology, engineering and maths subjects among young people and comprises 35 events.

NUI Galway is running many interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including computer game programming with Kinect, an invitation to senior cycle physics students to practise experiments in the labs of the new engineering building and a talk for students, parents and teachers on cyber bullying. The zoology and geology museum will be open for tours along with Ireland’s only computer and communications museum.

GMIT is having an open day on Wednesday November 16 and tours of all facilities including science, technology and engineering laboratories will be provided. There are also various interesting workshops for students including modern medicines, the chemistry of smoking addiction and nicotine patches, and the workings of a forensic investigation.

This year a mentoring programme with local engineers is available to senior cycle students seeking advice on career options. Engineers from more than 11 different companies are participating in this initiative and will visit schools and talk to the students about subject choices they have made and give practical career advice.

The festival will culminate with the final day exhibition in NUI Galway on November 27 with some 70 shows, events and interactive stands portraying Galway as a leading edge city in the world of science and technology. The event will be attended by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

At the launch Gerry Kilcommins said: “Following the hugely successful Galway Science and Technology Festival in 2010, we anticipate an even more exciting event for 2011. Medtronic’s continued sponsorship of the Science and Technology Festival is testament to the importance we place on developing scientific awareness among the youth of today. Harnessing the power of science and engaging our young people in this area is pivotal to realising Ireland’s knowledge economy strategy.”

President of NUI Galway Dr James J. Browne welcomed the long running festival’s latest instalment: “For many years, Galway Science and Technology Festival has generated real excitement for young people about the wonders of science and technology. As a university, NUI Galway shares this belief in the importance of making science and technology attractive to the next generation. Why? Because never before has Irish industry and society depended so much on bright, talented graduates to build Ireland's capacity in technology, research and innovation. This festival allows us in the university to open our doors, so that we can share the boundless possibilities and the sheer fun of science.”

The 2011 programme of events is available at www.galwayscience.ie


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