Cork's first Carnival of Science to be held this June

Cork City Council, through Lifetime Lab at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience has received funding from Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme Call to deliver the first Cork Carnival of Science.  The Carnival of Science seeks to entertain and engage the public in the areas of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Taking place on 22nd and 23rd of June this year and to be held again in 2020, Cork Carnival of Science will transform Fitzgerald Park into a STEM engagement wonderland. The two day event will feature more than 100 exhibitors offering non-stop, family-friendly experiments, interactive activities, games, street cuisine and a packed line-up of live entertainment.

Margie McCarthy, Interim Director of Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “At Science Foundation Ireland we are very pleased to support the first ever Carnival of Science, which I am confident will be an exciting event that encourages families to interact with science and technology in new and engaging ways. Through the SFI Discover Programme we are committed to making STEM accessible to all and to developing and nurturing STEM interest and engagement in Ireland, and initiatives like this are a perfect example of how we can achieve our goal. I would encourage everyone in the region to get involved with this wonderful event.”

The Carnival will include shows by London Science Museum and W5 Science and Discovery Centre (Belfast), workshops by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Imaginosity and Bubbly Maths, mobile classrooms from the Road Safety Authority and Bord Iascaigh Mara and many more. Activities will include making slime, meeting live zoo animals, checking out the inner workings of robots and extracting DNA. Cork Carnival of Science will be the largest STEM engagement event in the region.

Valerie O’ Sullivan, Director of Services for Environment and Recreation said “Cork Carnival of Science is a welcome addition to the vibrant festival culture Cork has to offer. Cork City Council is acutely aware of both the importance and the value of STEM engagement to the area. With a strong a strong base of multinational companies and indigenous Irish businesses, maintaining and enhancing the high standards of STEM engagement are essential to Cork’s goal of being a competitive, innovation-driven, knowledge based region”.

Lifetime Lab at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience manager and project lead Mervyn Horgan said “One of our main roles is to offer a positive experience through engagement with STEM and sustainability while also promoting Cork as a leader in primary science education. These areas are identified as long term drivers of growth, employment generators and benefit the economy locally”. He added “Our experience identified the public appetite to engage STEM in non formal settings, as a family unit, in a format easily accessible. Carnival of Science sets about creating and delivering a large public engagement event that will intertwine science, engineering and maths with playful learning in a fun, open and easily accessible environment”.   

The Carnival of Science will be especially attractive for families with children of school going age and is set to attract in excess of 5,000 attendees per day; the two day festival will align with Cork Midsummer Festival and the planned Mardyke 300 celebrations. The event is supported by Science Foundation Ireland with the backing of Cork City Council. Lifetime Lab at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience will act as the event coordinator and project office for the two year duration.