Children and adults from all over Munster travelled to Mallow to visit the Munster Maths and Science Family Fair which was held in the Mallow GAA Complex. The fair which is in its eight year attracted almost 5,000 visitors throughout the day.
Exhibitors at the fair included local primary and secondary schools, third level institutes, industry, science clubs, research institutes and many more. With over 45 exhibitors showcasing various experiments and demonstrations, there was something for every interest and every age bracket.
The focus of the fair was to showcase the fun side of maths & science and to show how it is used in the things that we do, use and see every day. Exhibits featured a whole range of interactive demonstrations including robotics, 3D visuals, microscopes, technology, 3D printers, maths puzzles, drones and planetariums which were just a sample of the activities visitors took part in at the country’s largest ‘community’ based Science and Maths Family Fair.
Apart from the mission to demonstrate that science and maths can be both entertaining and interesting, the more serious objective is to encourage young people in Munster to embrace the subjects which can be the pathways to stimulating career opportunities later on in life.
The Mallow Gardai and the Irish Defence forces exhibits had queues lining up all day long to see how they use various maths and science technology devices in their work such as bomb suits, radios, remote controls, finger prints, forensics etc.
The Blackrock Castle Observatory and the Outdoor Exploration Domes were on hand to showcase the wonders of space to their eager audience, while the energetic and enthusiastic teams from Institute of Physics (Physics Busking), Lifetime Labs and Maths Week had everyone bemused with entertaining, interactive experiments across a wide range of topics.
The dedicated team from Blizzard Entertainment were busy all day showcasing the wonders of gaming, while the junior members of our very own Mallow CoderDojo were on hand to demonstrate how coding works and it’s various applications.
Those at the cutting edge of research, education and business showcased the maths and science wonders of their work –Cork Institute of Technology, Eli Lily, Mimi Toys, The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre (LERO), CIT Dept of Sports Science, Anyone for Science, CEIA (Cork Electronics Industry Association), Honer APG, Mary Immaculate College, Munster Tool and Dye, Eriva, Blizzard Entertainment and UCC’s College of Science Engineering and Food Science.
Exhibits such as Ballyhoura Development’s Griston Bog Discovery Project, Inland Fisheries and Teagasc were extremely busy showing where and how to explore science in our waterways, bogs, trees. Under microscopes, our whole view of science changes and it becomes a world of wonder and questioning.
Many flagship local companies were also showcasing the science behind their business and used the opportunity to ‘give something’ back to their community by participating – Dairygold, EPS, Teagasc, Grasstec, AV Pound / Hobart and Kostal to mention but a few.
A number of students from the local primary schools exhibited their entertaining and engaging STEM school projects – Ballygown N.S., St Patrick’s Boys N.S., Baltydaniel N.S., Rahan N.S., Analeentha N.S., Convent Primary School, Scoil Ghobnatan., Gaelscoil Thomáis Dáibhís, Bweeng N.S., along with St Mary’s Secondary School and Davis College.
The event provided a valuable opportunity for students to discuss with the professionals their careers working as an engineer, scientist, researcher and what subjects are needed to study for these careers.
Mallow Development Partnership are the promoters and organisers of the event, with key sponsors being Cork County Council Economic Development Fund and the Irish American Partnership. Other sub sponsors were Grasstec and Mallow Credit Union.