Science Week @ IT Sligo

Up to 5,000 visitors  attended the annual Science Fair at IT Sligo, which took place from 12noon to 6pm last Sunday November 13, marking the beginning of Science Week 2011 at the
Institute.

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 were treated to an atmospheric jaunt through the wonders of science and were able to learn more about everything from ancient “zombies” to the threat of climate change in today’s world.

There were 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 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 was 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.

One of the most fascinating events was 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” .

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”.

Nightly, free public lectures will also be hosted at IT Sligo from Monday November 14th to 18th ranging in topic from extraterrestrial life to the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, and from DNA discoveries at mass graves to the use of drugs in sport. For more information see www.itsligo.ie

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