PICTURES: Midlands Science Festival a huge success in Offaly

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


The Midlands Science Festival is taking place across the region for people of all ages from November 11th – 18th with a full programme of innovative and fun hands-on events.

Science Week, which is managed by ‘SFI Discover’ the education and public engagement programme of Science Foundation Ireland, will take science out of the lab and into libraries, theatres, public spaces and school halls, giving people a variety of fun ways to explore and open up a multitude of ideas for a potential future career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The key evening public event for Offaly for this year was all about the science of golf. It took place in the Esker Hills Golf Club in Ballinamere this week.

Director of the Midlands Science Festival, Jackie Gorman said, "We are delighted to welcome Dr Ian Kenny of the University of Limerick [UL] to Esker Hills Golf Club to explore the science of golf during Science Week 2018. Ian is a senior lecturer in Biomechanics at the University of Limerick and is involved with an interdisciplinary research group at UL which is focussed on golf performance."

This packed programme of free Science Week events is being rolled out in the counties of Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford this November. It brings together a large number of interested participants including science communicators, performers and researchers, science and technology speakers, science and TY students, mini scientists and the general public from all over the Midlands and beyond.

Elsewhere, participants at a Midlands Science Festival science of photography workshop light-painted the word “science” in front of Birr Castle in Birr, Co Offaly this week with Veronica Nicholson.

Light painting photography uses a torch to draw something or write a word while the shutter of the camera is left open during a long exposure photograph. By shooting in a dark location and using long exposure photography the flashes, streaks, colours, textures, and trails of light created by the torch can be captured in a photograph.

Also, there was plenty of exciting science fun in Offaly this week when the Junior Einsteins Science Club came to town for a series of engaging, experimental workshops which were professionally delivered in Tullamore library.

Science and technology events also took place in Edenderry with the award-winning team from 'Anyone 4 Science' and a workshop called 'Inventing The Impossible' with artist Paul Timoney in character as Leonardo da Vinci and his colleague Mona Lisa came to Birr.

These workshops explore how Leonardo da Vinci used drawing as a means of exploring and developing ideas and allows participants to meet Leonardo and Mona Lisa who showed them some pages from Leonardo’s notebooks and explained his processes.

Commenting on the festival, Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD said, "I am delighted to see the festival activities which are taking place here across the entire region for the sixth year running as part of national Science Week. This festival brings together a number of inspiring speakers and scientists, science communicators, experts and performers all with the common objective of encouraging and inspiring more people of all ages to engage with science in our everyday lives."