Galway Science and Technology Festival 2021 Announces Programme


The Galway Science and Technology Festival (GSTF) returned as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s National Science Week, as a blended Festival with both in-person and online events, offering its trademark fun and excitement to the public of all ages.


The Festival ran for two weeks from 7th to 21st November, and it offered all primary schools in Galway city and county the chance to participate in a range of exciting workshops, talks and events. In its 24th year, the Festival continued to inspire and motivate Galway to be curious about the world, and to nurture an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).  The Festival was sponsored by Medtronic, local multi-national and indigenous companies, third level institutes and local government and government agencies. 


The Festival theme was ‘Creating our Future’, encouraging input from young people and their families, and the general public, on innovative ways to improve our city and our planet. The Festival theme was part of the wider government-led project inviting people to submit their ideas, big and small, on how research can build a better future for all. The Festival encouraged everyone to get involved through participation in a Brainstorm day in their classroom or at home on Wednesday 10th November.


The school’s programme saw over 270 schools benefitting from workshops, talks and demonstrations that are provided free to the schools.  “People more than ever, are conscious of the importance of science and technology for their future,” said Anne Murray, Festival Manager.  “We aim to provide the opportunity to participate in hands-on interactive workshops, where schoolchildren and families get to work on experiments themselves and be inspired and curious as they get to test and experiment with different elements. Primary school workshops feature “Something Sciencey” with Jane McLoughlin from 15th to 19th November, with a different theme each day to include rockets, gravity, light, materials, and heat.  Other primary school workshops include ‘Fantastic DNA in a Box’ by Cell Explorers, ‘Colourful Science’ by GMIT, Scientific Sue’s ‘Science of Dragon Show’, ‘Killaloe Exploration Dome’ and ‘Battle of the Bots’ by STEMBook.  Schools are also invited to attend workshops and tours in Galway Atlantaquaria, Brigit’s Garden and Galway City Museum.


Secondary school students were able to participate in coding workshops, talks on ‘Science of Superheroes’ by Dr Barry Fitzgerald, learn about bugs and spiders with the ‘Bug Doctor’, Dr Michel Dugon, science demonstration by Declan Holmes and take part in STEM workshops by Brigit’s Garden and STEMBook.


The Career Stories series featured local scientists and engineers talking to secondary school students about their career path, aiming to inspire them for a career in STEM.  In addition, Genesys and NUI Galway advised career guidance teachers on computing and engineering study and career options at an online event on Friday 19th November.


Art Competition

Students were invited to submit a ‘Creating our Future’ art piece to to be in with a chance to win some great prizes.  This art competition was supported by the Creative Ireland Programme and Galway City Council. Winners were announced on Friday 19th November.



The Festival hosted several events for the general public.

The first of these was a panel discussion on ‘Insecure Ireland: what has happened to our energy supply?’ in the Black Box Theatre, Galway, on Tuesday, 16th November at 7pm. The discussion was moderated by journalist Lorna Siggins and included speakers from IBEC, NUI Galway, UCC and the Government who discussed the security of Ireland’s energy supply, the future of new, renewable energy sources, the rising costs of energy, and the growing challenge of energy poverty.


Dr Barry Fitzgerald was back with ‘Science of Spider-Man‘, describing the science behind the fantastic powers of the iconic superhero character. This event included a screening of the 2019 movie Super-man: Far From Home in An Pálás cinema on Tuesday, 17th November.


The ‘Science of Sea Swimming‘ in the Black Box Theatre on Thursday 18th November at 8pm featured award-winning surfer Easkey Britton, physicist Jessamyn Fairfield and swim coach Caitriona Lynch, who discussed the link between the moon and the tides, our connection to the ocean, and engineering your way to the perfect swim technique. 


"I am pleased to welcome the 24th Galway Science & Technology Festival and would encourage everyone to get involved in the events centred around the theme of 'Creating our Future' " said Paul Mee, Chair of the Festival. "We are thrilled to be able to place over 500 free individual events in local schools thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.  Our mission is to educate people about the world we live in and inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.”


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