Highlights of this weekend's Cork Carnival of Science

Executive Scientist with Cork City Council, MARY WALSH, shares why Cork Carnival of Science has the perfect formula for scientific fun, education and entertainment for all the family
Highlights of this weekend's Cork Carnival of Science

Mervyn Horgan, Lifetime Lab Old Cork Waterworks, Stiltwalker William Flanagan, Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher and Mary Walsh, Executive Scientist Cork City Council and Festival Organiser at the announcement that Cork Carnival of Science is back, running this Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12. Picture: Darragh Kane

AS someone who is passionate about the promotion of science, I’m really proud to be involved in Ireland’s biggest outdoor science engagement event, the Cork Carnival of Science, which returns to Fitzgerald’s Park this June 11 and 12.

When we hosted the first event back in 2019, it attracted thousands of people over the weekend as it’s the perfect blend of science, education, entertainment, and fun, and it’s free to attend - a truly explosive formula (in a good way!).

Our plans for this year’s event, which is supported by Cork City Council and Science Foundation Ireland and organised by the Lifetime Lab @ Old Cork Waterworks, are now truly underway, and it’s an even bigger line-up.

Fitzgerald Park will be transformed into an unmissable Big Top science extravaganza with more than 45 different science-based activities to enjoy, including a packed line-up of live demonstrations, Big Top seated shows, hands on workshops and family-friendly experiments.

Those attending can try their hand at battery making, explore mechanics and engineering through Lego, journey into space, meet live zoo animals, check out the inner workings of robots, fly kites and extract DNA, just to name just a few!

To further create a festival feel, we are erecting giant ‘Big Top’ and ‘Little Top’ circus tents. There will also be a local live performance stage which will host local traditional acoustic artists (funded by the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme and supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media).

Headlining the Big Top, Little Top and Live Stage will be ‘Mark the Science Guy’ from RTÉ’s science show ‘Let’s Find Out’, Science Magic from Belfast’s W5, Eureka from Edinburgh and Phil Smyth from Simply Science.

The festival promises unique opportunities to get up close and personal with all types of science from physics to chemistry, biology and more. If you have a young person who loves dinosaurs, animals, nature, outer-space, or magic there is something scientific related to that interest that will undoubtedly capture their imagination. Something I am really looking forward to is the hands-on workshops and interactive stands on offer along what we are calling ‘Exploration Avenue’, ‘Innovation Way’ and ‘Discovery Drive’.

The opening day on June 11 also aptly falls on Cruinníu na nÓg, which is a day of creativity for young people.

Make sure to get your hands on the festival brochure on arrival, which includes a colourful map of Fitzgerald’s Park with all the festival attractions laid out alongside the key what, where and when details of shows, workshops, and demonstrations to check out throughout the weekend.

Some of the attractions along these routes, which I think are going to be really popular, include an interactive dinosaur experience with Dino’s Down Under, the mini petting zoo featuring lizards, snakes, spiders, owls, frogs by Animal Roadshow, a LearnIT Lego Building Station, a soldering workshop by MadLab and of course you won’t want to miss a journey into space with the Blackrock Castle Observatory ‘Stardome’ an inflatable planetarium!

Throughout the day, walk about performances mean science fun can literally pop up just about anywhere. We have some wonderful providers for this including Science on Stilts by Circus 250, the Suitcase Full of Science by Inspirational Science, Number Ninja’s with Professor Tony Baloney and Bubbles the clown who will show off his bubbly maths skills.

Activity stands will also be provided by Lifetime Lab, UCC Chemistry, UCC School of BEES, Fota Wildlife Park, Tyndall, Cork Sports Partnership and more, encouraging more young people into a future career in STEM.

You can be sure of a jubilant carnival atmosphere on Leeside over the weekend as young and old explore, investigate, experiment, and discover the wonders of science.

This 2-day event is a fantastic free family day out in Cork. In addition to all the amazing science, there will also be street cuisine, picnic benches, toilet facilities, a gigantic playground, extensive gardens, the Cork Public Museum and Café all on site, the park is very accessible, and we will have assistance from Irish Sign Language interpreters to facilitate the deaf community to enjoy the festival experience as well.

Cork Carnival of Science opens from 11am to 6pm daily with seated shows in the Big Top on the half hour starting at 11.30am and the Little Top every hour from 12pm.

If you want to look up any further details check out www.corkcity.ie/en/old-cork-waterworks-experience/events/cork-carnival-of-science-2022.html or stay tuned to social media updates from @corkcitycouncilofficial

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