The Wexford County Council WexSci Team would like to thank Science Foundation Ireland and all Wexford Science Festival partners, sponsors, participants, venues, community organisations and presenters, some 101 persons in total, who worked to make WexSci 2019 a major success this November.
WexSci , from 10th to the 24th November, offered a two-week celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) for people of all ages and interests. Over 4300 people from across County Wexford directly participated in 117 lectures, demonstrations, interactive tours, science shows, workshops, and Meet The Scientist discussions, in 25 venues delivered by 46 scientists and 2 artists.
During the festival several events profiled the practical side of science activity in the County and how it applies in our everyday lives. One such event took place on the first day of the festival in the picturesque fishing village of Kilmore Quay. Festival partner, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, invited 6th class from Kilmore National School to take an interactive tour of the fishing village. The children learned about the impact of tides, safety at sea, and actions being taken to protect the marine environment and life below the water. On the day they got to meet those working in the harbour, the Irish Coastguard, RNLI, Harbourmaster’s Office staff, the local chandlery, divers, fishermen, BIM, Fishing for Litter and Infomar.
Building on the SFI theme of climate action, WexSci included in the programme 15 events on climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, how to save the planet and environmental science . Wexford Library hosted a climate action discussion with Dr. Cara Augustenborg UCD, Dr. Karl Richards An Teagasc, and Dr. Jonathan Derham EPA. This event enabled public discussion on the challenges we face and the changes we need to make in order to reduce our carbon emissions. Simultaneously Enniscorthy Library hosted Hugh Feeley, EPA to discuss the health of Ireland’s rivers and lakes and an information evening about radon gas in North County Wexford took place in Bunclody Library with Stephanie Long from the EPA. Other events this year looked at themes of biodiversity, food waste and sustainability. We thank all those who were involved in organising these events.
A new development in the programme this year was the inclusion of Art events from The School of Looking. WexSci hosted the artists Ann Cleary and Denis Connolly with their meta-perceptual helmets. Audiences at Wexford Science Café, in libraries and at Gorey Art School, viewed art from different perspectives and examined the scientific principles behind motion and colour.
On Saturday 16th, 1120 people took part in the free WexSci Science Showcase day at the National Opera House and at Wexford County Council, Carricklawn. They took part in 3 lectures for adults, 5 science shows and 5 Planetarium experiences. They visited 14 Exhibitions from WWETB, IT Carlow Wexford Campus, Wexford County Council, BIM, EPA, Waters Technologies, WIT, Calmast, TEKcentral, Cool Planet, South Wexford Beekeepers Association, and the Hook Heritage Centre who filled The Street at the County Council with interactive displays, learning opportunities, and scientific demonstrations for young and old alike.
At Meet the Scientist events at IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, in Education & Community Centres, and in libraries, students had the opportunity to talk directly with scientists about careers, education
pathways and employment opportunities in County Wexford. Ongoing contacts and partnerships are being made from this science week engagement that we look forward to pursuing.
WexSci is one of 13 festivals held across Ireland that enable people engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In County Wexford it is led by Wexford Library Service and the Community Development Department within Wexford County Council in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland, I.T. Carlow, WWETB, EPA, BIM and Local Link Wexford and in collaboration with the business sector, community groups, national, regional and local agencies.