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Science Week at Teagasc 2014

During Science Week 2014, which will run from November 9 to November 16, Teagasc research centres and colleges invite local schools to meet its research and teaching staff to 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. There are over 1,000 students expected to attend the various Teagasc Science Week events.

Science Week events at Teagasc Centres

On Tuesday, 11 November, students will have the opportunity to visit the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Co. Meath. Beef Production Research, Animal Bioscience Research and Teagasc Advisory Service are located at this centre. Visiting students will be provided an opportunity to visit the facilities, view the current experiments being undertaken and meet with the researchers leading these programmes of research.

Two more Teagasc centres will be welcoming visiting students on Wednesday, November 12. Students visiting the Teagasc Crops Research Centre in Oak Park, Co. Carlow, will meet with the researchers there who will give them an insight into the science that supports the tillage industry, and describe the current cutting-edge crops research areas. Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Research Centre in Co. Cork will host students from the surrounding area, giving them an opportunity to meet current PhD and Masters Students who will show them the facilities and provide an insight into their work. Visiting students will also have the opportunity to feed calves and learn about grassland management, breeding and genetics.

On Thursday, 13 November, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Co. Dublin, will host students from the surrounding area, giving them an insight into the science behind the agri-food industry. Students will learn about remote sensing in agriculture, sensory analysis of food, food safety, the science of bread, sausage-making and seaweed. There will also be an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience, mixing different types of bread formulations, and much more.

On Friday, 14 November Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural and Horticultural College, Co. Kilkenny, will host a demonstration dissection of the ruminant digestive system. This demonstration is sure to fascinate attending students and will give them the opportunity to see the organ structures of this system up close and maybe even some examples of common parasite damage. Teagasc Advisory office in Ballymote, Co. Sligo, will be hosting visiting students as well, giving them a detailed explanation of the role of Teagasc, the Green Cert and other courses and careers in agriculture.

The Teagasc Crops, Environment, and Land Use Research Centre at Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, will be welcoming visiting students on Wednesday, 19 November. Students will get an insight into a variety of environmental experiments being undertaken. They will learn about current Teagasc research in the areas of ecology, carbon cycling, water quality and soils, nutrient efficiency and sustainability.


Smart Futures

Smart Futures is a government-industry programme providing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers information to second-level students, parents, teachers and careers guidance counsellors in Ireland.

Dr Kieran Jordan, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, will speak at Athlone IT on Tuesday, November 11. Kieran started his science career at RTC Galway (now GMIT) graduating with a certificate in Applied Science. After working as a laboratory technician for a year he decided to undertake a degree in microbiology at NUIG. With a desire to work in the food industry, he started an MSc in microbiology at UCC. The work was based at the Teagasc Food Research Centre at Moorepark. Having completed the MSc a few projects in food science research arose. One of these involved the opportunity to complete a PhD in microbiology at UCC, working at Moorepark. Kieran now works as a research scientist in food safety microbiology at Teagasc, Moorepark.

Ríona Sayers, Research Officer, Animal Health, Teagasc, Moorepark, will speak at University of Limerick on Thursday, November 13. Ríona holds a number of qualifications including a degree in Veterinary Medicine (MVB), and has recently completed a PhD in biosecurity and non-statutory diseases in association with the University of Limerick. Her research interests include the application of veterinary diagnostic techniques to dairy herds and equine dentistry and she has previously worked as CEO of Independent Milk Laboratories. Ríona recently appeared on RTÉ TV series The Science Squad, talking about liver fluke disease in Irish livestock.

“We are delighted to support Science Week, 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. Science Week is coordinated by SFI Discover, the education-outreach programme of Science Foundation Ireland.

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, as well as other Teagasc merchandise. To be in with a chance to win simply like and share the posts each day on the Teagasc Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Teagasc