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Science Week at Teagasc 2015

During Science Week 2015, which will run from November 8 to November 15, Teagasc research centres and colleges invite local schools to meet its research and teaching staff. It’s an opportunity for students to learn about the work Teagasc does to achieve its mission of supporting science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bioeconomy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability. Teagasc is expecting over 1,000 students at its Science Week events.

“Science is hugely important for the agriculture and food industries and 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.

Science Week events at Teagasc Centres
On Tuesday, November 10, students will get an opportunity to visit Teagasc, Moorepark, Co Cork. In the Food Research Centre there will be demonstrations, students will have use of microscopic tools, learn about bacteria phage and see DNA extraction/isolation. In the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, they will see some of the key technologies that underpin dairy farming. They will also learn about calf rearing, breeding and reproduction amongst other activities. Students will see how science contributes to making Ireland a world leader in the agricultural sector.

Also on Tuesday, November 10, at Teagasc, Oak Park Crops Research Centre, Co, Carlow, students will have an opportunity to attend seminars and discuss the wide range of scientific areas investigated in plant sciences with Teagasc crop researchers. Some of the topics on the day will include plant pathology and sustainable disease management, plant genomics, the potato breeding programme, bioenergy, crop agronomy and more.

Two more Teagasc centres will be welcoming visiting students on Wednesday, November 11. Students will be introduced to some of the food research carried out by Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15. They will get a glimpse into the weird and wonderful world of fungi, the functional food ingredients that can be harvested from our marine environment, sensory analysis of food and our meat research, including a sausage-making demonstration. In Galway, students will get an opportunity to visit the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre in Athenry. They will see demonstrations in animal science – here students will see how science is being used to address issues related to reproduction and parasitism in sheep. Students will be able to view different sheep breeds their attributes and role in Irish farming. In the grassland and the environment exhibit they will see different grass and clover species and learn about nitrogen fixation.

On Thursday, November 12, Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural and Horticultural College, Co Kilkenny, will host an event exploring soils in agriculture. As 2015 is the International Year of Soils, this will be an outdoor event (wet gear and wellies necessary!), looking at some simple field experiments that can be conducted to assess soil quality under a number of different parameters.

Walsh Fellowship Seminar
On Thursday, November 12, the Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Seminar will be held in the RDS Dublin. Professor Orla Feely, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD, will be the guest speaker. This is a great opportunity for students nearing the end of their PhDs to deliver a presentation of their work and findings to their peers.

Smart Futures
Smart Futures is a collaborative government-industry-education programme promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers information to second-level students, coordinated and managed by Science Foundation Ireland.

On Friday November 13 in the Brookfield Health Science building, University College Cork, from 10 to 11 a.m., Claire Watkins and Cathriona Foley will be speaking at the Smart Futures event. Claire is a third year PhD student in Teagasc Moorepark and is currently working on her thesis. Cathriona is working on Automatic Milking Systems at Teagasc Moorepark.

10 things to know about…
During Science Week, RTÉ launches its new science TV series ’10 Things to Know About…’. Teagasc researchers will features in episodes on November 16 and November 30.

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 the posts each day on the Teagasc Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Teagasc