Cllr Cara Hunter (right), Deputy Mayor of Derry, with Lucy McDermott, NI Science Festival, Professor Lukey Luke and students Saskia and Dylan
Celebrated scientists, entertainers, researchers and authors will descend on Derry next month when the city hosts a number of events in this year's NI Science Festival.
The festival boasts 270 events taking place over 11 days from 13 – 23 February with dedicated events scheduled to take place simultaneously in the North West.
The complete programme of events was revealed at the Nerve Centre attended by special guests, key supporters, sponsors and local school pupils from Thornhill College, Oakgrove Primary School and Long Tower Primary School. Michael McCloskey, head of KS3 science at Thornhill college, entertained guests with hands on experiments and workshops during the launch.
The festival – which will also be staged at venues across the North - is packed with thought provoking workshops, talks and forums for people of all ages, addressing our planet’s biggest challenges and issues in 2020 from ecology, neuroscience, the concept of time to air pollution and genetics. The festivall welcomes back the hugely popular Maddie Moate to Strabane following her sell-out success last year. Hear Jessica Hepburn share her personal journey around the science of fertility in her talk The Pursuit of Motherhood at Bishop's Gate Hotel (16 February).
Badminton School, England. will be showing Foyleside shoppers the wonders of freezing everyday items in liquid nitrogen (15 February) and providing teacher workshops in the Nerve Centre (taking place on 13 February). Dr David Coyle explores the science of eating disorders in his engaging talk at the Nerve Centre (20 February).
This year’s children’s events have been expanded for all the family with more shows than ever before to entertain children over half term.
The new “Create, Make, Play” section in the festival programme features a range of hands on workshops from a range of partners aimed at those with busy hands and curious minds.
Little Scientists will take over Dungiven at the Dry Arch Centre (14 February) when children aged two-four years old can put on a lab coat and become a mini professor as they take part in hands on experiments and demonstrations.
Festival director, Chris McCreery, said: “This year, we will be focusing more than ever on the climate crisis through a blend of science, exploration, education and storytelling.
“We are proud to present a range of events aimed at fostering an appreciation of “ournatural world.
“From foraging on beaches to stargazing on mountains, join us for a range of events highlighting our natural open spaces and beautiful places.”
Mr McCreery added - “Six years on we are one of the largest celebrations of science in Europe. As the festival has grown the calibre of speaker endorsements keep coming thorough from Professor Brian Cox, Liz Bonin and astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield, therefore we believe the NI Science Festival must play a role by championing sustainability and appreciation of the world around us.”
Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Cara Hunter, said: “Derry and Strabane District Council are delighted to support the NI Science Festival.
“Now in its sixth year, the festival continues to grow each year with even more exciting, diverse and unique events for all ages.
“The festival showcases the talent and STEAM industries across the North West and Ireland as a whole, as well as raising the city’s international profile, in terms of the quality of speakers it attracts.
“The uniqueness of this festival is in the way it can make Science fun and engaging for all ages and abilities.
“There literally is something for everyone."
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