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Teagasc Science Week Events 2010

The aim of Science Week (November 7-14) is to promote the relevance of science, engineering and technology in our everyday lives and to demonstrate the importance of these disciplines to the future development of Irish society and to the economy. Teagasc supports this Discover Science and Engineering initiative by holding a series of events nationwide, with attendance by about 850 students.

Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin (Nov 9)

Ashtown is holding an Open Day for local schools. It will involve a tour of our facilities where students will hear about:

Food Safety Bugs: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly - There will be demonstrations of bacteria on hands, illuminated by a UV detector, food pathogens on agar plates and the use of molecular methods to detect bacteria. Students will also hear about other contaminants that affect food safety.

Food Processing Pilot Plant & Test Bakery Visit - Students will see a sausage making demonstration using alternative ingredients like omega oils. There will be a range of bakery products on display made from traditional grains and students will hear about the skills of bread making.

A Taste Panel Session – students will take part in a formal tasting session and learn about food taste, smell, colour and how the senses affect your food likes and dislikes.

The Chemistry of Plant Fingerprinting - There will be a demonstration to show that the chemicals that make up plant colours tell a complicated story.

Animal Production and Grassland Research Centre, Athenry, Galway (Nov 9)

The Athenry open day features:

Animal Science – including visits to the Animal Reproduction and Parasitology Laboratories. Here students will see how science is being used to address issues related to reproduction and parasitism in cattle and sheep.

Cattle and Sheep Breeds - View alternative cattle and sheep breeds – their attributes and role(s) in Irish farming grassland and the environment - different grass and clover species and learn about nitrogen fixation. They will learn about environmental issues, such as the use of slurry and fertilizers.

Forestry and Biofuels – This section covers different tree species, different woods, biofuels.

Training options for farming - including information on training requirements and alternative training options.

Animal Production and Grassland Research Centre, Grange, Meath (Nov 10)

The Grange science week event will showcase the Animal Production and Biosciences research programmes at Grange Research Centre. Demonstrations will be held on the farm and in the laboratories. Students will be brought on a short tour of the farm where cattle will be on display and talks given on animal production systems and grassland. In the laboratories, a blood analysis demonstration, as well as a display and information on animal genomics will be presented. Furthermore research on animal health and microbiology research will also be showcased.

Environmental Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Wexford (Nov 9 & 10)

A short open day will take place on November 9, with Transition Year students from the CBS in Wexford Town visiting Johnstown Castle Environment Research Centre. The day will consist of both indoor seminars and outdoor field experiment visits.

The students will be informed of some of the experiments being undertaken in relation to ecology, gaseous emission, water quality, soils and nutrient efficiency. The students will also have an opportunity to visit the Dairy Beef Open Day, which is also being held in Johnstown Castle on the same day.

On Nov 10 a number of researchers and post-graduate students will visit some of the local primary schools (Murntown, Piercestown, Gaelscoil and one school in Wexford).

Johnstown staff will talk to the children about important aspects associated with the agri-environment. As it is the International Year of Biodiversity, this topic will constitute a major part of the visit, other topics that we will cover include identifying soil type, and talking about the important role soil plays in the environment.

Kildalton College, Kilkenny (Nov 10)

Students at Kildalton Agricultural College will see a practical demonstration of animal digestive tracts. An opportunity for students to examine the ruminant and monogastric digestive systems. Ideal for students undertaking the Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science course.

Animal Production and Grassland Research Centre and Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Cork (Nov 9)

Teagasc Moorepark Open Day for local schools will involve a visit to both Moorepark Food Research Centre (MFRC) and Moorepark Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre. On the food side, students will hear how probiotic bacteria work to fight off bad bacteria and how examining their DNA helps. They will also see how cream is separated and butter and buttermilk are made. On the production side students will learn about ruminant nutrition, greenhouse gas emissions from dairy production, automation in milking, energy use efficiency and calf rearing.

Crops Research Centre, Oak Park, Carlow (Nov 9)

Undergraduate students from Carlow Institute of Technology and local schools will visit Oak Park Crops Research Centre where researchers from the breeding, pathology and biofuels programmes will highlight some of the research activities in progress.

Walsh Fellowships Seminar, RDS, Dublin (Nov 11)

The theme of the 2010 Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Seminar is “The Walsh Fellowship Scheme’s contribution to delivering the overall vision for the agri-food sector outlined in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s Food Harvest 2020 report, i.e., Act Smart, Think Green and Achieve Growth. The seminar, which takes place during Science Week, provides a unique opportunity for the Walsh Fellows, Teagasc and their third level partners to showcase the knowledge outputs and potential impacts of the scheme.

This year The Institute of Food Science and Technology Ireland has donated a President’s medal for presentation to the best food science and technology presentation at the seminar. The overall winner of the oral presentations will receive a medal from the RDS.

The guest speaker is Professor Gerald Fitzgerald, Professor of Food Microbiology, UCC. For more see: www.scienceweek.ie

Twitter Competition

Teagasc will hold a Twitter competition where second level students can win an iPod Nano. For more see: http://twitter.com/cbteagasc during Science Week.