Buskers will be aiming to enthral people about the wonders of science through the medium of street performance this November in counties Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath. It’s all part of the annual Science Week celebrations that will be taking place around the island of Ireland. And there are 10 spaces for people who want to learn street performance with a maths twist.
The training will be open to all those from the aforementioned counties who wish to improve their maths communication skills and, perhaps, add a sprinkling of busking and stand-up comedy into the equation.
The Midlands Science Festival itself will kick off during the week of 11 November to promote greater interest in science and technology. This will be against the backdrop of Science Week, which will mean a plethora of events around Ireland.
It is the first science festival for the region and is being co-ordinated by local development agency Atlantic Corridor, which is headquartered in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
The Maths Buskers group members, who are from the UK, will be carrying out street and school performances to get people more interested in maths during the festival.
Jackie Gorman, CEO of Atlantic Corridor, said the 10 free spots are geared to help people learn how to busk, as well as learn more about maths and technology. She said people must be aged 18 or over to apply for the busking places, however.
Tricks up their sleeves
During the festival in November, the maths buskers will be aiming to delight the public with tricks such as predicting birth dates of the audience using "magic maths cards", correctly counting handshakes in a large room and tying up two volunteers in ropes and helping them to work out how to escape without touching.
Gorman said the organisers believe Maths Buskers will appeal to many.
"It’s things everybody can have a go at. We have found in previous work with the Maths Buskers in public and in schools that people actually discover through the fun and performance that their maths ability is much better than they thought."
She said the Maths Buskers were one of the highlights of the British Science Festival last year.
As well as the Science Week celebrations, on 15 November in Athlone, Co Westmeath, there will be a public event with the Maths Buskers and TEDx speaker Prof Luke O’Neill, the renowned Irish immunologist. He is also academic director of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.
For schools, there will be a series of workshops in Westmeath on 14 November.