On Thursday May 23rd, 2019, John Halligan, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, officially launched Space Week Ireland at Kildare Street.
Speaking at the launch Minister Halligan said “The wonder of space has for decades inspired nations across the world to learn more about our universe and our planet. Space Week provides a brilliant opportunity for everyone, including students, teachers, parents and citizens to learn more about space and the growing impact it has on our daily lives. I would encourage everyone to get involved in Space Week and explore today’s most pressing space questions with Ireland’s space community.”
Space Week is a week that encourages people to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through the inspirational topic of space. Space Week is run by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland and ESERO Ireland.
At the launch Margie McCarthy of Science Foundation Ireland said that “Space Week is a perfect embodiment of SFI and ESERO Ireland’s mission. It exposes young people to the Space field, and STEM more generally, so that they can make informed choices about their futures, and potentially pursue a career in STEM. Space Week is also a wonderful opportunity for the general public to engage with science and to become more science literate, while developing a greater understanding of the importance of space research for their own lives”.
Space Week runs every year from October 4th to 10th and encourages schools, industry, and families to organise, or participate in, Space themed activities. This year’s activities will feature the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing, as well as learnings for Climate Action.
Some of the key events planned include a Space Careers Roadshow at University of Limerick on October 4th; a conference for Junior Cycle science teachers at Cork Institute of Technology on October 12th; a touring exhibit that celebrates Ireland’s membership of the European Southern Observatory and 100 years of the International Astronomical Union; and a competition to name an Exoplanet in association with the International Astronomical Union.
Space Week Ireland runs in tandem with World Space Week. In 2018, 33,000 people from around the country participated in activities, placing Ireland second in the world for Space Week events.
To get involved in Space Week, just check www.spaceweek.ie to find events in your area, or for tips on how to register and host your own event. The website has resources for students, teachers, families and industry partners, so there is something for everyone.
Featured Image: “Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan officially launches Space Week Ireland at Kildare Street. Pictured at the launch was Minister Halligan with TY students Ashling Mc Carthy and Paula Davila from Our Lady’s Bower Secondary School Athlone. Ashling and Paula were members of the CanSat Ireland 2019 team that won Ireland’s National competition.”
Photo credits: Julien Behal