Up to 5,000 visitors are expected to attend the annual Science Fair at IT Sligo, which takes place on Sunday November 13, marking the beginning of Science Week 2011.
The largest free event for families in the North West, the Science Fair boasts an action-packed programme where discovering the science behind the magic will be a key theme for all age groups.
Visitors to the college will be treated to an atmospheric jaunt through the wonders of science and will be able to learn more about everything from ancient “zombies” to the threat of climate change in today’s world.
There will be events to suit very young children as well as those with some understanding of science.
“It really is an event for all the family,” stressed Ivan Sullivan a lecturer at the School of Science and organiser of the Science Fair. “In one afternoon you can build your own scientific toy and launch it, see an eagle up close, admire a fire-breathing dragon and then learn to dance, hip-hop style!”. He explained that the theme of this this year’s Science Week is The Chemistry of Life “and all of these activities are related to chemistry in some way”.
Science Magician Paul McCrory will be back by popular demand with his “Magic, Science or Mystery” show where water will be made to disappear, tornadoes will appear in bottles and volunteers will bravely sit on a chair of nails and learn why their backsides escape without so much as a scrape.
The nights sky is a source of fascination for people of all ages and the return of Dr Ed Barnett which his mobile planetarium promises to be a major attraction at the Science Fair.
There will also be lessons in juggling, acrobalance and circus skills, courtesy of “Daft Antics” and students from a circus.
One of the most fascinating events will be presented by archaeologist and IT Sligo lecturer Chris Read, who has garnered international headlines with his account of how two skeletons buried with large stones wedged into their mouths in a historic site in co Roscommon, suggest an ancient belief in “zombies”.
IT Sligo’s Applied Archaeology Programme will also cater for those with a thirst for knowledge about life long ago, with a fully interactive archaeological adventure for people of all ages. Visitors get to touch archaeological artefacts and weapons, covering over 10,000 years of Irish history and prehistory. They will be able to crawl through a cave and see some Palaeolithic paintings, learn how to make prehistoric jewellery and examine replica human skeletons to figure out what bone goes where..
Local Gardai will be there with tips about crime prevention and volunteers from the Sligo and Leitrim emergency services will relate real life adventure stories and demonstrate the equipment they use.
Dr Jeremy Bird head of the School of Science at IT Sligo says the Science Fair is an opportunity to encourage people of all ages to think about the importance of chemistry in our everyday lives.
“The Science Fair is a great day out for families— we have found that even people who think they have no interest in science are fascinated by the experience”.
The 12th annual Science Fair takes place at IT Sligo from 12noon to 6pm on Sunday, November 13th. Admission is free and open to all members of the public to attend.
To download the Science Week brochure, click here.
Image Gallery Caption: A flavour of activity at last year’s Science Fair