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Science Week at Teagasc

During Science Week (November 10-17) Teagasc research centres and colleges invite local schools to meet its research and teaching staff and learn about the work Teagasc does to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bioeconomy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability.

Over 1,000 students are expected to attend Teagasc Science Week events. On Tuesday 12 November in Athenry, students from local schools undertook a series of practical experiments to see how science is being used to address issues related to reproduction and parasitism in sheep.

Today (November 13) there are events at Teagasc Grange research campus featuring a demonstration of the beef and animal bioscience research at the campus. At Teagasc Johnstown Castle, students will learn about current Teagasc research in the areas of ecology, carbon cycling, water quality and soils, nutrient efficiency and sustainability. In addition, Teagasc Oak Park’s Dr Stephen Kildea talks at Carlow library on various well-known crops and their development and also looks at crop diseases.

On November 14 at Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre, the aim of the fun-filled day is to promote an interest both in careers in scientific research, and the science behind your food - through demonstrations, presentations and interaction with researchers in food and horticulture. At Teagasc Oak Park, students will get a tour of the biotechnology laboratories and get to see part of the plant science and potato breeding programmes. Researchers and technologists will demonstrate the research programme and give an insight into work at the forefront of crop science.

On November 15, Teagasc Kildalton College will host a dissection of ruminant and monogastric digestive systems. The demonstration will provide Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science students with an opportunity to see the organ structures of these systems up close, and maybe even some examples of common parasite damage.

“We are delighted to support Discover Science & Engineering ’s (DSE) Science Week initiative, which aims to promote the relevance of science, technology, engineering and maths in our everyday lives and to demonstrate their importance to the future development of Irish society and to the economy,” said Dr Frank O’Mara, Director of Research at Teagasc.

DSE initiatives are managed by Science Foundation Ireland on behalf of the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

STEM career roadshow
Teagasc researchers are also taking part in DSE’s ‘Smart Futures’ STEM career roadshow with Dr Sinead Waters from the Animal and Bioscience Research Department, Teagasc , Grange speaking at Sligo Institute of Technology and Dr Rita Hickey, Teagasc, Moorepark speaking at the University of Limerick.
Sinead currently leads a research programme that investigates the molecular mechanisms controlling economically important production traits, particularly muscle growth and development, feed efficiency and fertility in cattle.

Rita is leading a research programme that investigates the biological properties of oligosaccharides isolated from food sources. In particular, she explores approaches to extract, identify and validate physiologically active oligosaccharides for use as ingredients in functional foods. Areas of current interest include biologically active oligosaccharides from milk that can aid in preventing infection and improve immune function.

Facebook competition
To celebrate Science Week, Teagasc is giving away a copy of The Science Squad Series 2 DVD each day this week, courtesy of New Decade Television and Film. To be in with a chance to win simply like and share the posts each day on Teagasc’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Teagasc