In addition to storm warnings and a well-deserved Christmas break for our students, winter also brings the two biggest outreach events of the year for NUI Galway’s Kitchen Chemistry outreach group.
26,000 visitors attended the 22nd Galway Science and Technology Festival in November that aims to communicate the relevance of STEM in our everyday lives and society to the general public. I would estimate that 120-150 children from the ages of 5-12 took part in the hands-on chemistry workshop the Kitchen Chemistry volunteers put on during this festival, discovering the wonders of elephant toothpaste, lava lamps, rainbows and liquid nitrogen thunderstorms – a glimpse of which could be seen on the RTE 6’oclock news.
Last week, the Kitchen Chemistry team promoted NUI Galway’s science courses at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin. This STEM competition for secondary school students from across the island or Ireland is the longest running science fair in Europe and attracts around 60,000 visitors every year over three days. On one of these days, we demonstrated to the participants how important chemistry is in our daily lives with colourful redox reactions, important drugs, invisible ink and our do-it-yourself lava lamps.
A big thank you to the Kitchen Chemistry organisers and volunteers who always make these outreach events highly successful and fun!