Science Week celebrates Big Bang, robots and more

6 Nov 2009

Ireland’s Science Week 2009 kicks off this Sunday, 8 November, and will be a weeklong nationwide celebration of science, technology, learning and discovery, with plenty of fun and excitement.

Have you ever wondered about the logistics of space exploration or how much Ireland is involved in the technology development side of exploring our universe?

Donagh O’Mahony from the Tyndall Institute will be giving a talk on this next Tuesday as well as telling students about the career opportunities for those interested in working in the institute.

On the agenda

But what about where it all began? This Monday, Dr Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, physics and mathematics lecturer from Waterford Institute of Technology, will be giving a public talk on the Big Bang theory (which may possibly explain how Mary Poppins fitted so much into that carpet bag of hers!) and will go through Albert Einstein’s famous relativity theory and the expanding universe.

Science Week has numerous talks and events, and many of these are not just big-picture talks about the origins and exploration of the universe. In fact, one aspect goes in the opposite direction with the Tyndall Institute’s interactive nanotechnology workshop with a series of hands-on activities and experiments to give participants insights into the evolving world of micro-electronics, what kinds of materials are being used and why nanotechnology is important to us.

Robot workshop

Fun will be had on from 10-11 November with the two-day robot workshop from TryScience and Lego. Participants work in teams to problem solve, build and programme a fully working robot using LEGO blocks, ROBOLAB programming software and online experiments from

Events range from general public to ones specifically aimed at junior and senior-cycle secondary-school students. There are literally too many to mention. Talks, workshops and presentations cover a mind-boggling range of subjects from Darwin to skulls, the science of the circus to the science of women drivers!

There are also plenty of talks that touch on the green agenda, including one on Climate Change and how Ireland needs to adapt, from Dr Conor Murphy of NUI Maynooth.

A full list of all the events for Science Week 2009 can be found on the official site.

By Marie Boran