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Science Week in Laois

Published: 28th October 2014

This year’s annual Science Week takes place from November 9th to 16th and the range of activities and events in place for Laois should bring a smile to the face of even the most school-weary cynic.

The aim of Science Week is to show young and old alike that science can be fun, and with the emphasis on the Power of Science in our everyday lives.

In Laois, there is a focus on finding out about our natural world, with:
“What’s a Wakatobi”, a presentation on the discovery of brand new species of bird, by Trinity College Zoologist Sean Kelly, at Abbeyleix Heritage House, Monday 10th November at 7.30pm and “The Silence of the Tenrecs”, a unique opportunity to learn about the science of wildlife research & conservation at mid-day on Wednesday 12th November in Mountmellick Library.

Mary Mulvihill of Ingenious Ireland will bring a unique view point, blending scientific discovery with history, as she explores the science heritage of Ireland at Portlaoise Library at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th November. Mary wants everyone to know that Ireland is not just a nation of writers – we also produced some of the world’s greatest scientists and engineers, and our ideas have helped to change the world. This fascinating illustrated talk about Irish discoveries and ideas will include lots of innovations from the Midlands. This is an ideal opportunity to hear Mary - an award-winning science writer and broadcaster, whose books include ‘Ingenious Ireland’ and who writes a science columnist for The Irish Times.

The week is the brainchild of Science Foundation Ireland and has spread out of the schools and colleges in recent years to engage with the wider community, and to show how important science is in all our lives. In Laois, this expansion is largely because of the Midlands Festival of Science, an initiative of Atlantic Corridor, which has put together a quirky, entertaining line-up of events in schools, community centres, libraries, coffee shops and bars across Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford. All details are at midlandssciencefestival.com.

As part of Science Week, the Heritage Office of Laois County Council is working with Science Foundation Ireland to deliver free science workshops to primary schools in Mountmellick and Mountrath. Mountmellick children will be learning about inventions, and getting the chance to invent something themselves, at Mountmellick Library, while in Mountrath the lucky pupils will be treated to engineering and robotics workshops focussed on Lego! There will be no need to tell these kids that science can be fun! These workshops are being offered to each of the primary schools in the two towns, and not surprisingly, they are already completely booked out.

All other Science Week events are free and open to everyone. All details of events throughout the midlands – including star-gazing in Boora Parklands, Alchemists Cafes in Athlone, and talks about antibiotic resistance, the physics of poetry and the science of coffee, to name but a few - are at midlandssciencefestival.com and bookings can be made through Eventbrite. Science Week events all over the country are listed at www.scienceweek.ie

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