Entertainment

SETU announce Southeast Science Festival & Free Family Fun Day for Waterford

South East Technological University (SETU) have unveiled a programme of interactive, educational and fun events for people of all ages from pre-school to age 105.
Events are set to take place from November 13th to 19th as part of National Science Week across Waterford City and County, Clonmel and Carrick on Suir.
The SETU Science Week events are co-ordinated by Calmast, the STEM Engagement centre at South East Technological University funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Waterford City & County Council, Tipperary Council with support from  STEM companies West Pharma, Sanofi, Bausch and Lomb, MSD and Abbott . 
More than 100 free events will take place including activities for schools, afternoon shows for families and evening events for the general public with over 10,000 expected to participate across Waterford and South Tipperary. 
A wide programme of events is set to give the public inspiration by providing an opportunity to explore how science is important in everything we do and how science can contribute to a better future.
One of the organisers of Science Week at SETU Sheila Donegan of Calmast says:
“For the first time in three years we are back out enjoying a full programme of events for the 2022 Southeast Science Festival.
The festival aims to foster an appreciation of science, which is all around us in our daily life. This year we are working with lots of STEM companies in the region, educational partners and community groups to deliver a broad programme of events for all ages and interests from interactive family shows, to exciting hands-on activities for young people and engagement opportunities and fascinating talks for adults too. We are bringing those into community spaces into schools and also inviting people into SETU to enjoy a multitude of stimulating events from the ultimate LEGO building workshops with Bricks 4 Kidz; Bubble shows with Carline Ainslie, talks with lots of the female leaders in science aiming to encourage more girls to study STEM. We are also working with direct provision centres and our new communities along with highlighting climate change and how we can all work together to make an impact. Whatever your area of interest is, there is sure to be a great Southeast Science Festival event for you and best of all this brilliant programme is on offer free of charge due to our wonderful event supporters and partners.”
A highlight of the week will be Science Family Fun Day; and at the South East Science Festival in Waterford, the Family Fun Day will take place at the Theatre Royal and in the Large Room City Hall on Sunday, November 13th from 12 – 5 pm.
Free events on offer include Bubby Science in the Theatre Royal where International Caroline Ainslie will delight younger audiences with her bubble and balloon show, exploring the science of bubbles. Festivalgoers are encouraged to ‘bring their ear defenders’ as bubbles and balloons will pop in this show, and they will be challenged to discover which is louder and why?
Families are also invited to join physicist and TV presenter, Mark the Science Guy, at the Science Week Launch Pad for the ultimate exploration of our place in space, with an interactive, high-energy, fun-filled show exploring the planet, our solar system and the science of rockets. A hands-on, hilarious and slightly explosive science week show is guaranteed.
In addition to Family Fun Day adults in Waterford have a wide range of festival events to whet their appetite with events such as Bruce Wardrop from SETU presenting the Science of Elite Sports, and Lizzie Abraham showcasing the future of artificial intelligence.
Join Dr Mark Rowe at Mount Congreve Gardens for an evening of exploration on Thursday, November 17th. As he says, ‘when it comes to your health, nature is the vital sign that time makes visible.’  Learn about the science of nature, and how regular exposure to health-enhancing phytoncides and fractal patterns can make all the difference when it comes to your health and vitality. How ‘nature time’ supports your mindset, stress responsiveness, sense of presence and so many aspects of your physical health.  Discover the real benefits of ‘Forest therapy’ and how you will be able to experience this for yourself here in the wonderful Mount Congreve Gardens.
STEM companies from across Waterford and Clonmel will be supporting the festival through showcasing the many exciting careers available in STEM in the local area, and volunteers will bring science into classrooms with exciting STEM workshops.
Events for the Southeast Science Festival in Clonmel include Dave's Jungle bringing his exotic animals to GaelScoil Cluain Mealla. Dave takes festivalgoers on a journey of discovery through the reptile and arachnid world where they will gain knowledge of how these creatures, see, hear, and hunt in their natural habitat. Families will witness the amazing talents that help them survive in a hostile world. Students get to touch and hold some of the animals. Our goal is to spark an interest in nature that instils respect for these misunderstood animals. Dave will also be giving students ideas on how they can do their bit for conservation.
Ken Farkuhar will introduce Primary and secondary school pupils to the science of the circus and Clonmel and Carrick On Suir Libraries will introduce primary and secondary school pupils to coding through fun hands-on activities.
Working with Waterford Area partnership, STEM events will be brought to new communities. Partnering with Meals on Wheels service, and local libraries, flower bulbs will be delivered to older people.
Partners in Southeast Science Festival include WEST Pharma, Sanofi, Bausch and Lomb, Abbott and MSD.
The core theme for Science Week 2022 is “Infinite Possibilities”. From the infinite variety of our amazing planet and the adaptability of nature to our ability to face the unexpected, the possibilities are endless. We have many choices to make and more challenges to face, and we are all part of the conversation about the role that science can play. For Science Week 2022, we are asking people to explore the infinite possibilities of science.

Launching Science Week, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to launch Science Week 2022. It is fantastic to see the conversations we had during Creating Our Future continue and to see them inform further conversations during events such as Science Week. As we consider the role that science plays in all of our lives, and how it affects our future, Science Week provides us with an opportunity to engage with science in informative and creative ways. I would encourage everyone to get involved, attending Science Week events and use your voice to help us overcome the challenges our country and our world faces.”

Science Week aims to encourage people to discuss and explore the possibilities that science offers. Science is an important part of a shared better future – helping us to understand our world, inspiring new opportunities, and providing potential solutions. From the infinite variety of our amazing planet and the adaptability of nature to our ability to face the unexpected, the possibilities are endless.

Commenting on Science Week, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Philip Nolan,said: “We are delighted to be welcoming people back in-person to Science Week events for the first time since 2019 as well as running virtual events for a truly hybrid experience. We would encourage everyone to take part in Science Week this year and to explore the Infinite Possibilities of science at in-person events or online. We are focussing on key themes that we know the public is concerned about such as sustainable living, mental health, and digital technologies. Science Week is a fantastic opportunity for people all over Ireland to discover and engage with science.”

Full details of the Southeast Science Festival and booking can be found at www.calmast.ie
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