Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor visited the Institute of Technology Sligo on Friday 15th of November to investigate Science Week in the North West campus. The Minister attended workshops on Spectroscopy in a Suitcase and the CSI Experience as part of her visit to Sligo’s Institute of Technology.
Secondary school students from across Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo and Donegal were joined by the Minister to learn about the science behind forensics and a wide variety of information on different aspects of Crime Scene Investigation.
The CSI Experience is an educational hands on practical activity, presented by two retired Garda Crime Scene investigators with over 50 years’ experience between them. Retired Gardai Kieran O’Brien and Jim Gallagher took the Ministers finger prints and explained the process of forensics in policing as part of the workshop.
Speaking to the students, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor encouraged students to explore science as a subject and as a career.
“A career in STEM based subjects offers an excellent opportunity in life with exciting job prospects here in Ireland and across globe. The Sligo Science Festival is a chance to explore many different aspects of science in a fun and educational way and I’m delighted so many students in the region are taking part in Science Week.”
The week-long event which comes to a close this weekend, hosted over 30 events and attracted a record number of visitors this year making it one of the largest events of Science Week, nationally.
This year the Science Festival focused on Climate change and was titled “Climate Science – Transforming the Planet.” The Sligo Science Festival is co-funded by IT Sligo, Science Foundation Ireland, AbbVie, Sligo Leader and Sligo County Libraries and works with schools across the northwest region to encourage students to explore science and STEM based subjects and careers.
Speaking at the Minister’s visit, the Head of Faculty of Science, Dr Jerry Bird said:
“Science Week has been running for nearly 20 years in Sligo and has grown in size and attendance each year. This year we have broken our attendance record and has become one of the largest Science Week events in Ireland. It is a great opportunity for students to explore the world of science in an informative yet educational way. We have had over 30 events this year with a range of talks, performances and workshops aimed at all age groups and interests and we are delighted with the response from the public this year.”
The week-long event included talks and workshops on climate, DNA, wildlife and Archaeology and concluded with a talk on the secret life of crows and the science behind vampires!