Irish Science Week 2012

By Zoë Randell.

It was to be my first ever foreign job as a science communicator. I’d known about it for ages – Science Week Ireland was happening in November – and science made simple were going to send me!

Science Week Ireland


We were all very busy preparing for it – schools to be contacted, dates to be arranged. At the last minute I managed to sort out my accommodation and book a ferry.  Monday morning crept up on me, and suddenly I was packing the van with everything I’d need for a week of shows. I bade farewell to the science made simple team and hit the road.

The ferry from Pembroke to Rosslare was fairly choppy and I did feel quite green around the gills – or was that just the reflection of all the Irish green everywhere?

On the ferry!

When I met solid ground again, night had fallen, and the first sign I saw, was telling me to ‘Links fahren’, and I felt glad that’s what I’m used to anyway (drive on the left!)

After a sleepy drive to Dublin I found my hotel and fell into bed, glad that my 8-hour journey was done at last.

My first experience of an Irish school was a local primary school where I performed 4 shows; 3 of ‘Izzy’s Incredible Adventure’, and one of ‘Who wants to be a Superhero?’. It was great, the kids were really up for learning about science, interested in my accent, and all wanted to volunteer.

Enormous spire in the middle of Dublin

The next day I managed to get into Dublin and do some exploring over lunch. The Dublin spire is ginormous!

My next shows were in libraries local to Dublin. I’d never performed a show in a library before and wondered how the librarians were going to react after they heard the rocket blasting off, the hovercraft in action, or the excited kids all voting with our ‘float or sink?’ experiment!

The shows went down a treat, the younger students enjoying Izzy’s Incredible Adventure, the older ones discussing Usain Bolt and the Olympics in our ‘Science of Sport’ show.

After that it was time to meet Becky and Abi at the airport and make our way over to County Mayo Science Festival.

We all met up with our favourite Australian, Adam, and said a last goodbye. He has just left the science made simple team to return to Oz. Good luck Ad!

In Mayo, we were presenting a soldering workshop, Madlab. Here we are ready to go:

Ready to solder!

Families were queuing up 15mins before tickets went on sale for the workshops, and they sold out straight away! No pressure then ;)

Here are some young solderers making a ‘Wonky Wires’ kit.

Having fun making ‘wonky wires’

We didn’t have any more time for pictures, because 30 kids with soldering irons was fairly intense!  We had a fresh group of kids every hour for three sessions, all needing to go home with a completed, working circuit. With just two small burns between the three of us, we finished our Madlab sessions feeling fairly frazzled – but we loved it!

The SMS ladies then headed back to Dublin for some retail therapy before boarding the ferry home. We think these sciencey shoes should be in the new SMS uniform!

The SMS ladies trying on some lovely sciencey shoes

Unfortunately, our first ferry was cancelled, but eventually we got a late one back to Holyhead. Bye Bye Ireland!

Farewell Ireland!

We made it back home to Cardiff at about 6am after a 5-hour drive from north Wales. Not suprisingly we didn’t make it into work for 9am that morning!

It was a great experience, and we’re already planning Irish Science Week 2013.  We hope to be there during Irish Engineering Week in March as well.

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One comment on “Irish Science Week 2012
  1. Abisnial says:

    Was Brilliant! Cant wait for next year!!!!