Galway Science Festival unveils 2020 programme

Galway Science Festival unveils 2020 programme

Galway Science and Technology Festival returns this November as a virtual event, but promises to capture all of its usual fun and excitement.

The festival will run for two weeks from November 8 – 22, and this year offers all primary schools in Galway the chance to participate with many exciting workshops.

The culmination of the Festival will be in the ‘e-Exhibition’, an interactive, online production on Sunday, 22 November featuring special presenters, STEM demonstrations and fun activities for the whole family to watch and enjoy together.

Now in its 23rd year, the Festival educates, inspires and motivates Galway to be curious about the world around us, and to nurture in students of all ages an interest in STEM.

The programme will feature ‘Career Stories’ and Cisco Webex streamed workshops for TY students by experienced local scientists and engineers in STEM companies.

The programme will also offer ‘Whizzkids’ coding workshops and an outer-space adventure with Killaloe Exploration Dome.

Other Festival events include an activity pack for primary schools built around the theme of “Colourful Science” provided by GMIT.

There will be an exciting collaboration between Foróige and CÚRAM – NUI Galway’s SFI Centre for medical technologies – to create fashion works inspired by CÚRAM’s research.

‘Hope it Rains’ will provide socially distanced, and virtual, guided walking tours of ‘Drowned Galway’, a series of photomontages on walls and in windows across the city envisaging life in a near-future, inundated city.

NUI Galway’s SFI Insight research centre will host a string of events, including ‘Avatars in the Classroom’; ‘Citizen Science: Saving the Past’; ‘Back to BASICS’ coding workshop looking back on the democratisation of computing over the past 50 years;

There is also the ‘Crowd4Access’ citizen science community workshops; ‘Shadows of an Empire’ exhibition on the schools and postal service of Ireland, 1890-1922; a Morse Code workshop; and ‘The COVID Experience’ examining pandemic life in Direct Provision.

The Festival’s famous, centrepiece Exhibition Day, usually hosted by NUI Galway, will be streamed online as an interactive production bringing favourite attractions alongside new features for 2020.

This will feature  Sue McGrath’s ‘Bubble Magic’; Dr Michel Dugon’s snakes and spiders; Cell Explorers’ guide to extracting DNA from a banana; specially produced STEM demonstrations by Medtronic; COVID-19 experts; and a juggling class with James Soper.

The ReelLife Science video competition winners, and the Galway Science Person of the Year, will also be announced as part of the e-Exhibition.

“It will be a challenge to produce a virtual program that will engage with teachers, pupils, parents and children but it is a challenge that the GSTF committee have embraced with their usual commitment and enthusiasm and I am confident that it will be a success,” said Festival chairperson, Mr Paul Mee.