Science Week in Ireland

by Anne Wahl and Eva Bauerschmidt

Science Week took place in Dublin this year between the 7th and 14th of November. Science Week is coordinated by the Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) programme and its aim is to promote the relevance of science, engineering and technology in our everyday lives, thereby pointing out the importance of these disciplines to the future development of Irish society and to the economy. This year’s theme was ‘Our Place in Space’ focusing on the latest developments in astronomy as well as Ireland`s role in the Space Industry.

Over 400 took place throughout the week, in libraries, schools, college campuses, on-street, in nature reserves and parks.  The events offered a variety of lectures, presentations, workshops and competitions.

A series of workshops concentrated on exposing children to the importance of science. For example the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) library offered an imaginative workshop for primary school children focusing on fossils, snowflakes, light, stars, planets, moon, craters and telescopes. 

Girls of the age of eleven and twelve participated in the workshop that was divided up into three different stages. At the first stage fossils were explained including their development and shape. To make the children familiar with their structure, they observed the fossils with the help of a particular magnifying glass. The next stage focused light and physics where the girls could playfully discover experiments with light and magnets. The last step was to explain the universe with its various planets. The children were shown the solar system and got the opportunity to draw themselves.

The workshop was held by Martina Galvin – an Irish artist and photographer. This year’s Science Week issue suits her own work particularly, as she is interested in science and did a project on Copernicus a few years ago. With the help of arts she wants to make science more interesting for children. On top of that she thinks the pictures of the children drawn during the workshop are in interesting result of their interpretation of science.

Not only this workshop but also all other events of the Science Week contributed to the overall mission of the DSE to ensure Ireland`s growth and development as a society with an active and informed interest and involvement in science, engineering and technology.

All shapes and sizes included in Science Week. Picture courtesy of Discover Science & Engineering

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