Science Foundation Ireland is continuously monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on activity delivery. The situation is constantly evolving, and Science Week will take place in accordance with government guidelines. Science Foundation Ireland will release a summary guidance document, please check back soon!
A large focus will be placed on the delivery of Science Week content through digital means. This supports the programme objective of broadening the reach and increasing participation from communities which are underrepresented in STEM sectors.
The success of Science Week depends on you, the event organisers, and here are ways to get involved in your local area as an educator, parent, scientist, business, agency or association. Get involved:
- Visit schools and talk about career possibilities
- Profile an employee with an interesting science/technology career
- Invite your local community to an open day at your organisation
- Organise an exhibition of your products or processes
- Organise a display with hands-on activities
- Host a professional day for second-level students
- Sponsor prizes for school contests
- Sponsor or host a lecture series
- Bring your children to a Science Week Ireland activity in your area
- Organise a special science, engineering and technology assignment for students
- Organise a trip to a museum
- Organise a science-fiction film night
What type of event to organise
For Science Week you can choose anything from discussions and debates to star speakers, workshops, film screenings, demonstrations, talks from local industry, open days, book evenings, science treasure hunts and quizzes.
In 2020 there is no better time to consider running a digital event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have all had to adapt to digital media and we have seen how creative and innovative we can be in using digital platforms. Additionally, organising a virtual event can provide an opportunity to reach people outside of your local area.
Remember you are trying to entertain and inspire the audience. It is important to know who is going to attend: will it be teenagers who are studying science at school, families and children, college students, people with a professional interest in science, people with a passion for science, local scientists, or local community groups? Once you know who your audience is, tailor your event to suit their needs.
What help you will need
Think about the size of your event, and how many people you are going to need to plan, promote and run it. Who can help with ticketing, setting-up, presenting, helping on the day? Think community groups, local schools or colleges, businesses or members of the community for some volunteers that may be able to help.
Get the right venue
Choose a venue for your event that makes it as easy as possible for the public to access. Businesses can invite participants to their premises. Or select a local venue that’s well known, easy to access and free of charge – local schools, colleges, community halls, book stores, workplaces, cafes or shopping centres.
Approach the management in advance for permission to use the premises. Explain in detail what you want to do and what will be involved (there may be insurance implications). The most important thing is to make sure it is safe and accessible to all. If you are thinking of holding an outdoor event keep in mind the unpredictable Irish weather. Science Week runs in November and it may turn out to be a cold and wet day!
The date and time
This year Science Week runs from 8-15 November 2020. If school children are the audience, an event during school hours may be an option, where they can come as a class. However, it is best to check with the schools you will invite. If the event is for families and children, it may be better to hold it in the evening or a weekend
Promoting your event
We have plenty of resources to help you put your event together, including:
- Posters and promotional material
- Calendar of Events
- Roadshow performers database
- Science Week logos for your material
- Class activity packs for primary schools and secondary schools
- A sample press release
- Connect to us on social media (Twitter and Facebook)
- Blogs and podcasts
You could also set up a blog to publish news and feedback about your event - anyone can do it, and getting started is simple. There is an abundance of free blog providers, including:
For tips on blogging, check out this wikiHow on starting a blog.
If you are feeling more adventurous you could make a podcast about your event and post it up on your school or college website. A podcast is a digital audio recording that is posted on the internet and made available for downloading. For tips check out wikiHow on making a podcast or this how to podcast tutorial.