From November 9th to 16th, National Science Week will host 800 events across the country, and Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip has been named as the ambassador for this year's edition.
National Science Week, which is coordinated by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover, is turning 19 this year, and it looks like being one of the biggest and best yet, with over 800 events planned and 250,000 people expected to take part.
The week-long event is aimed at engaging with young people and inspiring them to study and take up careers in the exciting fields of science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM), but it also seeks to motivate people of all ages to engage with STEM disciplines at home, in the classroom and at work. With festivals taking place in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Sligo, Mayo, Waterford and the Midlands throughout the week, there will be plenty of opportunity to experience first-hand the Power of Science, which is this year's theme.
Heaslip knows plenty about chemistry as a team captain on the rugby pitch, but having studied mechanical engineering, he's also pretty familiar with maths and science in general, and explained how that background was a big part of his involvement in this year's campaign:
Speaking at the announcement Jamie said: “I’ve always had a passion for science and technology, not only in terms of how we use it to improve sports performance but also how we can harness its power to help us solve everyday challenges. Science Week is the perfect time to explore, discover and uncover the Power of Science, which is all around us. I’m really looking forward to experiencing the Curiosity Lab – it’s going to be great fun!”
Professor Niall Moyna, School of Health and Human Performance and a member of the Centre for Preventive Medicine at DCU, will also be involved, and speaking at the launch he underlined that the possibilities for science are endless: "Science has taken me all over the world and given me a wonderfully rewarding career combining my two passions in life – science and sport. There is the perception that science is for ‘geniuses’ or all about being in a lab but there is so much more to it than that – science, technology, engineering and maths offer a world of opportunity and cater for a wide variety of interests and aptitudes.”
Dr. Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy and Communications, SFI seconded that, noting that the Power of Science was not about wearing a lab coat all day: “We hope that ambassadors like Jamie demonstrate that science is so much more than a laboratory discipline. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics have something new and interesting to teach us all and can open doors to a vast range of career opportunities."
If you want to know more about what's planned for the week and how you can get involved, visit the Science Week website where you'll find news, a list of the events, and a whole range of resources to help you find a way to bring the Power of Science in to your life.