Last week, Limerick Festival of Science celebrated Science Week by bringing the public together, from children and adults, to scientists, engineers and technologists with the aim to spark curiosity, inspire imagination and unleash the potential that can help shape the future.
Science Week 2018 had ran nationwide between November 11 and 18, with numerous events across the country supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
“The Limerick Festival of Science’s aim is to bring science to the fore of the public’s minds through fun, engaging and interactive events,” an SFI spokesperson said.
University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and Limerick Institute of Technology came together and shared their enthusiasm for science, technology engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), with everyone in the region.
SFI created a campaign called #StopAndAsk to encourage people to ask questions about the world around them as part of the special week.
Here are the details of three of the events that took place:
Public information evening, November 15
The Faculty of Science and Engineering at University of Limerick hosted a public information evening on Thursday, November 15, in the Analog Devices Building.
Six UL science graduates of Bioscience; Environment Science; Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical and Industrial chemistry presented their experiences in studying science, their careers to-date and the exciting opportunities open to them.
They explained to fourth year students from the science and Engineering Faculty as well as to visitors, how and why they have chosen a science course.
Orlagh Kennelly graduated last year from a Food Science and Health degree, and said that she chose the course because she always had an interest in science from secondary school.
Orlagh also explained about her internship experience with the Dairygold Company in Mallow Co.Cork.
“Preparing for Co-op interviews and experiencing a busy environment like Dairygold really stood to me when I entered the working world,” she said.
Among the six speakers, a current fourth year undergraduate Bioscience student, Niamh Phelan also shared her experience regarding her course and the science aspect.
“I was swayed towards the Bioscience course as I was interested in the developing industry of Biopharmaceuticals,” Niamh said.
“The Bioscience degree is broad and exposes you to different aspects of biological areas including industry and or research.”
Café Scientifique in the City: Science of Aircraft Design, November 17
Café Scientifique in the City: Science of Aircraft Design’ was held as part of Science Week 2018 on November 17 at Bank of Ireland Workbench, O’Connell Street.
The event featured Dr Ronan O’Higgins from the School of Engineering UL giving a lecture on the topic of aircraft design to parents and children.
Dr O’Higgins explained how aircraft wings create lift and how engineers decide on the most optimised shape for an aircraft, before illustrating how new materials make aircraft lighter and more fuel-efficient with model aircrafts.
“The event is all about try to encourage people to look at careers in science technology, engineering, mathematics. It’s just a way of bringing some of researchers out to the public who wouldn’t normally get opportunities to go and see what we do day-to-day bases.”
Talking about the feeling to give such type of lecture, he said: “It’s more rewarding. People are more enthusiastic about the subject I talked. it’s also light-hearted. It generally got a good response. It’s nice to do it,” he said.
Bernie Quilligan, the Faculty Manager of Faculty of Science Engineering in University of Limerick and event organiser said: “We don’t have enough graduates now in the majors like science technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.”
“What we try to do is to bring the science to the community and to bring it into the city. We try to get young people to take up science subjects in school,” she said.
“They could have so broad careers in the area of sciences like engineering, design, architecture. If they don’t take the science subjects in school. It knocks out some opportunities.
‘Make a Musical Instrument’ workshop, November 18
‘Make a Musical Instrument’ workshop took place at Fab Lab on November 18 as a part of Limerick Festival of Science 2018.
Children aged between 8 and 14 were taught to build and assemble their unique sound and light instruments from paper, card and electronics.
A unique piano music box was completed by the children after finishing assembling circuit board, making piano shell, installing the keys and battery.
“Today’s workshop was a kind of experiment to see if you can make circuit board without soldering and it basically turned out that you do need soldering,” said Ed Devane, the Facilitator of the Laser Cut Keyboard Workshop and the Teaching Assistant in University of Limerick.
“But still the children got the experience placing the components on the board and they had some sense of how the electricity flows through the circuit board and produces sounds,” he added.
Tony McDermott who brought three of his children to the workshop and described it as “a good way to start, to get them interested in both electronics and science via making things.”