A galaxy of free events awaits at this year’s Galway Science and Technology festival

The 15th annual Galway Science and Technology Festival commenced on Monday November 12 at the Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. The celebrations, sponsored by Medtronic Galway, coincide with National Science Week.

The festival runs from November 12 - 25 comprising free shows, activities for primary and secondary school students, and a family day out at the Final Day Exhibition on Sunday November 25.

The aim of Science Week is to promote the use of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths ) subjects among young people by bringing shows to schools throughout Galway city and county over the two-week free event.

Among the gathering at the opening of the two week festival were Galway City Mayor, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, chairman of Galway Science and Technology Festival Tom Hyland, John MacNamara, director of R&D Medtronic, Dr Jim Browne, president of NUI Galway, Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway; and Michael Carmody, president of GMIT.

Primary schools can book free shows to visit their school, including cell exploration for fifth and sixth class students and a hands on practice of cellular and molecular biology for budding explorers. Jumping Clay by Jim Daly is an education programme for 3D clay modelling, that can be used in animation or just making popular art. Jane McLoughlin’s Fun with Science presents easy science experiments, and use of recycled materials and everyday foods to learn about science.

Additional primary school shows include Modern Day Medicine to demonstrate the use of medicines in everyday medical treatment. The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will run a Primary Schools Outreach programme, Kitchen Chemistry, aimed at introducing primary school children to the exciting world of chemistry.

Secondary schools can also avail of free shows including Dr Ken’s Entertaining Science Circus Show, which exhibits how circus performers make use of scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. The Strange World of Forces with Paul McCrory, Celestia, Cosmic Explorers by Robert Hill, and Stellarium Workshops, and Bend it like Beckham, by the James Soper NCBES roadshow are also suitable for secondary school students.

Both primary and secondary schools can book Galway Bay FM school tours to enable students to experience the technology involved in producing a live radio show. The Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway, will host 3-D Tours of the Universe taking students on a trip from the earth to nearby stars, across our galaxy and through the whole universe. Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome allows students discover the wonders of the night sky in their own school hall and The National Computer and Communications Museum will provide a fascinating insight into the development of communications and computing technology from ancient hieroglyphics to today’s internet.

During the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway on Sunday November 25 visitors can enjoy some 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment and 20 separate shows for all ages. It will take place at the Bailey Allen Hall, Orbsen, and IT Buildings and has expanded to the Aula Maxima and new Engineering Building at NUI Galway. Full programme details available at www.galwayscience.ie and the festival exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday November 25. Bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day.

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