All 2012

A Galaxy of Free Events as Galway Science & Technology Festival Opens

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week and sponsored by Medtronic Galway officially opened on Monday 12th November at the Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. Attending the opening were Galway City Mayor, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Festival, John MacNamara, Director of R&D Medtronic, Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science NUI Galway and Michael Carmody, President of GMIT. The Festival runs from the 12th–25th November and includes free shows and activities for primary and secondary school students and a family day out at the Final Day Exhibition on Sunday 25th November. It aims to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people by bringing shows to schools throughout Galway city and county over the two-week free event. John MacNamara, Director of Research & Development at Medtronic commented, “This festival is so important in terms of engaging the interest of the younger generation in Science and Technology and the exciting career possibilities open to them, ensuring we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland's future success as a nation.” Primary schools can book shows to visit their school for free including Cell Exploration for 5th and 6th class  students, a hands on practice of cellular and molecular biology for budding explorers. Jumping Clay by Jim Daly is an education programme for 3D clay modelling, that can be used in animation or just making popular art. Jane McLoughlin’s Fun with Science presents easy science experiments and use of recycled materials and everyday foods to learn about science. Additional primary school shows include Modern Day Medicines, a half-day workshop at GMIT for 5th and 6th class students that will explain how everyday medicines that we buy in pharmacies work to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will run a Primary Schools Outreach program, Kitchen Chemistry, aimed at introducing primary school children to the exciting world of Chemistry. Secondary schools can also avail of free shows including Dr Ken’s Entertaining Science Circus Show, which demonstrates how circus performers make use of scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. The Strange World of Forces with Paul McCrory, a fast-moving interactive show exploring the forces that are so important in allowing us to move. Celestia and Stellarium Workshops will take students on an interactive journey through the Solar System highlighting latest discoveries. Bend it like Beckham by James Soper NCBES Roadshow will present an informative presentation outlining the links between Science, Engineering and Medicine. Cosmic Explorers with Robert Hill demonstrates how the Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos and helped us to better understand the universe in which we reside. Both primary and secondary schools can book Galway Bay FM School Tours allowing students experience the technology involved in producing a live radio show. The Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway will host 3-D Tours of the Universe taking students on a trip from the earth to nearby stars, across our Galaxy and through the whole Universe. Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome allows students discover the wonders of the night sky in their own school hall and The National Computer and Communications Museum will provide a fascinating insight to the development of communications and computing technology from ancient heiroglyphics to today’s internet. During the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway on Sunday 25th November visitors can enjoy over 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment and 20 separate shows for all ages. It will take place at the Bailey Allen Hall, Orbsen and IT Buildings and has expanded to the Aula Maxima and new Engineering Building at NUI Galway. Shows include the K’nex Roadshow, which is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system, Mr Bug with Matt Lewis allows children get up close to friendly tropical animals and even stroke a lizard and a snake. Other Exhibition shows include Killaloe Exploration Dome, a mobile planetarium designed to explore science, astronomy, geology and geography in a fun and interactive way. True Physics Show with Declan Holmes is an interactive hands on science show where students participate in launching rockets and flying helicopters. A Lego Competition sponsored by Lego and Smyth’s Toys Superstore offers a ‘Technic Lego Challenge’ where participants have 50 minutes to build a car of the future. Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show will demonstrate wacky experiments like super foams, colour changes and disgusting lime and Black John The Bogus Pirate, is a cartoon workshop aimed at teaching children of all ages about marine environment while having fun. Full Programme details available at and the Festival Exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday 25th November. Bookings can be made at to help people plan their day. -ENDS-

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Two NUI Galway Scientists Participate in ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

From Monday, 12 to Friday, 23 November, NUI Galway scientists Dr Tim Downing and Dr Enda O’Connell will take part in a novel new online science engagement event. The two researchers will be part of I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!, which will see them chatting with students from 36 schools across the island of Ireland. Dr Tim Downing is a lecturer with the School of Mathematics at NUI Galway. His research involves discovering mutations linked to drug resistance in flesh-eating parasites. He is looking forward to the new online challenge: “This lets scientists and students chat, discuss and learn more about exciting new research, what the big questions are in science now, and how science is perceived in schools.” Dr Enda O’Connell is a senior technical officer with the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway. His work involves using a robot to help find cures for different types of cancers. He said: “I’m really looking forward to chatting with the students, answering their questions about science in general and my work in NUI Galway, and getting a new perspective on what it means to be a scientist.” Students take part in quickfire Facebook-style online live chats, ask the scientists all the questions they want and then vote for their favourite scientist to win a prize of €500, to communicate their work with the public. This is the first time the event has come to Ireland, and it’s proved very popular with teachers. The public can watch live chats and read the students’ questions online at and follow @imascientist on Twitter. -ends-

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NUI Galway's School of Business and Economics Hold Annual Career Mentoring Event

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

NUI Galway recently held its annual Career Mentoring Day giving 25 students from the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics the opportunity to meet with volunteer mentors holding senior positions across various professions on a one-to-one basis. Topics discussed throughout the mentoring session included the challenges of the current employment market, the importance of networking and making effective job applications. The mentors also offered careers advice covering sectors such as marketing, accountancy, management, consultancy, teaching and human resource management. Dr Gerard Turley, Programme Director for the Bachelor of Commerce programme at NUI Galway, said: “Mentoring provides a crucial link between university life and the workplace. In recognition of the difficult transition from college days to work life, the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway organises mentoring sessions for different business programmes, including undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce students, Masters of Economic Science students and Executive MBAs.” Students participating found the opportunity to meet with senior professionals invaluable with NUI Galway second year Bachelor of Commerce (International) student Nadja Lorenz commenting: “It was a fantastic and unique opportunity. Going into the event, I knew exactly what I wanted but now, and this is crucial, I know how to get there. I can already start working on it with the advice I got from my mentor. It's much easier now that I know where to start and what to pay attention to.  The advice I got was unique and invaluable.” -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Hold Student Entrepreneurial Networking Event

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Exponential, an NUI Galway event which allows students to meet local company founders, entrepreneurs and like-minded people, in a fun and casual way, will take place in the Townhouse Bar on Tuesday, 20 November at 7.30pm. Exponential allows the opportunity to meet some of Galway's technology start-up companies and young innovative entrepreneurs, share ideas and learn how some NUI Galway graduates started their own business, right out of college. Throughout the night attendees will be able to interact with local start-up companies, speak to potential employers in a casual environment and learn what it takes to develop a business idea, form a team, raise finance, setup and run a company. Those who already have a novel idea for a product or business can share their idea and get advice and feedback from fellow students and other entrepreneurs. Guest speakers on the night will include NUI Galway graduate Paul Killoran of Starlight Solutions and Liam Ryan of GetHealth app. Both Paul and Liam set up successful ventures while still in college and will be at the event to share their experiences and give advice. This is a free event, but you do need to register at or via the Exponential website Exponential is a project undertaken as part of the NUI Galway/Students’ Union EXPLORE initiative. Further details on this initiative are available at -ENDS-

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Minister Launches Education Matters Yearbook 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. will today officially launch the Education Matters Yearbook 2012 at the offices of National University of Ireland in Dublin. Now in its sixth edition, and supported this year by NUI Galway, Education Matters Yearbook 2012 is a contemporaneous, living history of Irish education over the course of the last year. Compiled and presented to complement other seminal Irish educational publications - curriculum, policy and research, the Education Matters Yearbook 2012 collects in one publication key voices and perspectives - national and international - on key policy, practice and pedagogy developments and innovations in 2012. With a foreword from the Minister for Education and Skills, it aims to provide a comprehensive compendium of all significant events, trends and debates in Irish education. This information is accompanied by review articles, commentary and analysis by leading educators, parents, students, educational organisations and the educational unions.  Speaking in advance of the launch, Minister Quinn said: “I am delighted to launch the Education Matters Yearbook 2012. This is a very worthwhile compendium of all the significant events, trends and debates in Irish education throughout the year. It covers all levels, from pre-school to 4th level, reflecting the various views and perspectives in Irish education.” Among the notable additions to the Education Matters Yearbook this year are an article from the teaching diaspora/Irish teachers abroad; an article on the development of civic engagement at third-level; and the experience of being a student teacher completing the Professional Diploma in Education. Speaking of the announcement, Dr Tony Hall of NUI Galway and Editor of Education Matters Yearbook 2012, said: "Education Matters Yearbook 2012 provides an invaluable, unified resource of information about Irish education - practice, policy and pedagogy - from across all sectors of the educational system: preschool and early childhood, primary, post-primary, the Irish language, third and fourth levels. It is a unique repertory of information and insight on Irish education." While retaining its familiar, easy-to-read 'look and feel', the layout of the Yearbook has been changed this year. To enhance readability and navigability further, selected news and media items are interleaved with relevant feature articles. In a time of change and challenge in Irish education, Education Matters Yearbook 2012 addresses the salient developments currently taking place in Irish education, including the growth of the early childhood education sector; patronage and pluralism in primary education; curriculum reform and literacy and numeracy at post-primary level; and the changing landscape of Irish tertiary education and research. ENDS

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