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06 Dec 2021

Thousands attend Kilkenny Science Festival as part of Science Week

Kilkenny Library Services, Kilkenny Castle and Castlecomer Discovery Park Science all involved

KILKENNY

YIFM group take part in Science Week

Almost 6,000 people attended Kilkenny Science Festival which ran from the 7 – 14 November as part of Science Week. The Festival which ran mostly online had a diverse range of events for primary, secondary schools, childcare services, families and adults.

Throughout the week, schools from all across the county zoomed in on virtual events with top science presenters from around the world. There were many highlights of the week including a gorgeous show for pre-schoolers called Loving Science, Quiets Science shows for ASD Units and Special schools, an online visit to the Reptile Zoo and Dublin Zoo, a lively quiz with sixth class pupils from schools across Kilkenny facilitated by South African Steve Sherman and a fascinating insight into Human variation and DNA fingerprinting with Dr Cas Kramer.

A Careers Events event aimed at secondary schools pupils featuring scientists from Kilkenny industries Prochem, Lighthouse studios, Advanced security systems, and the EPA. Over 700 TY and senior cycle students were in attendance, where students had the chance to learn from STEM practitioners, in the region, about real world STEM careers. In
addition to live events, Science Stem kits were sent out to various schools and community groups in the county.

Adults too had the opportunity to get in on the action with a cooking demonstration from Celebrity Kilkenny chef Edward Hayden and nutritionist Oonagh Trehin, Dr Niamh Shaw spoke of her assimilated mission to Mars and how it made her reconsider the environment, The Use Less Project gave an informative talk on Fast Fashion, consumerism and its impact on the
environment, Network Ireland hosted an evening for STEM Women in Business, Sisters Judith and Susan Boyle delivered a talk on The Bitter Truth, the science of taste! Castlecomer Discovery Park delivered an in-person family event on how to build a giant Catapult while also providing an online, on demand talk on the science of catapults. Kilkenny Castle ran the Junior Einstein’s online workshops Forensic Crime Scene, the science of solving crime and Kilkenny Library ran The Escape Room sessions!

Sheila Donegan, Director of Calmast, the STEM Engagement Centre in Waterford Institute of Technology who co-ordinated Science Week as part of national science said “we are absolutely thrilled with the uptake in events in the region. We had hoped this year to have more in-person events but as a result of Covid, that was not possible. However, we did find that we were able to engage with more schools and indeed the general public, than before. We are particularly proud of the new relationships built with community groups in the region for example Kilkenny Childcare Services. It is so fantastic to work alongside these amazing groups who do such brilliant work. We are so thankful to our partners, Kilkenny Library Services, Kilkenny Castle and
Castlecomer Discovery Park and to our funders Science Foundation Ireland and Kilkenny Leader Partnership without whom, it would be impossible to run Kilkenny Science Festival.”

The theme of this year’s festival was Creating our Future in line with a government initiative of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science which is taking place across 2021. Science Foundation Ireland are encouraging people to engage with the Creating our Future national conversation on research in Ireland and have their say in
what are the most important aspects of their lives they would like science and research to improve.  If you would like to get involved with Science Week and #CreatingOurFuture in some way – submit questions through the #CreatingOurFuture platform, in the conversation on social media. The public can submit ideas and questions that could be addressed through the online platform - www.creatingourfuture.ie.

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