5 things to know ahead of Cork Carnival of Science this weekend

Organisers are calling on families to give their ‘number one vote’ to Science Fun at Fitzgerald Park

There are mere days to go until Ireland’s largest outdoor science engagement event, Cork Carnival of Science gets underway at Fitzgerald Park from June 8th to 9th.  This unmissable (and free) family science fun weekend is guaranteed to get a great ‘reaction’ with previous years proving the hypothesis that learning and fun really do go hand in hand! 

Supported by Cork City Council and Science Foundation Ireland and organised by Cork City Council’s Lifetime Lab @ Old Cork Waterworks Experience, the Cork Carnival of Science is  hugely impressive and a high quality 2 day celebration of all things Science, Technology Engineering, and Maths that will see Fitzgerald Park transformed into a pop up science super park this coming weekend! 

Organisers are calling on families to vote with their feet and head to Fitzgerald Park on Saturday or Sunday (or both!) where they will get to explore, investigate, experiment, and discover the wonders of science in a completely fun fuelled and interactive way…. and it’s all free! 

Here are 5 things to know ahead of the weekend!

  1. Circus Tent Showstoppers!

Over the 2 days there will be as many as  26 live seated science shows in Circus Top and Stretch Tents, throughout the scenic park. Topping the bill are the live science shows performed by stars of the science education and entertainment who the kids will recognise from TV shows and Youtube.

These seated shows draw large crowds and offer regular performances throughout the day, with no need to book in advance – just line up before the next performance! This year’s headliners include:

‘Airforce’ by Simply Science physicists Dr. Stephen Davitt and Phil Smyth from RTÉ’s Home School Hub, ‘The Crazy Weather Show’ by Science 2 Life’s wonderfully dramatic Scientific Sue, ‘Now that’s what I call Science’ by W5 from Belfast, ‘Its Only Water’ by Science Made Simple,  ‘Airheads’ by Thunder Bolts & Lightning and ‘The Circus Science Show’ by Inspirational Science, so plenty there to blow your mind!

Cork Carnival of Science gets underway at Fitzgerald Park from June 8th to 9th
  1. Putting Nature and the Environment under the Microscope!

This year’s theme will focus on climate and the natural world from a scientific point of view. Poppy from ‘Bee-ology’ will create a buzz with a circus-science that juggles bee and insect stories and facts.  A branch of the Irish Tree Network will take you on a remarkable journey through the world of plants, including their uses and benefits.

The crew from the Marine Institute will float their Explorers Education Programme encouraging greater understanding of the marine world and recruiting young people to become ocean champions! Cork’s very own Lifetime Lab will be on hand to demonstrate the use of microscopes to get up and close with mini beasties from our rivers and the Animal Roadshow will bring along their petting zoo featuring lizards, snakes, spiders, owls, frogs and more.

  1. Eco Friendliness 

Aiming to make the festival as sustainable and low impact as possible the organisers have taken a number of steps. These include providing free drinking water, so all you need to do is bring along a reusable bottle or keep cup to quench your thirst!

All the food stalls have been vetted for sustainable food practices and are all local operators including; Bo burgers and steaks, Bad Boys BBQ, Dinky Donuts, Sultan Delight, Munchies, Bubble Waffle House, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausage Company, Glanmire Ices, Keith’s Cones, Pizza base, Candy Rock Lane, The Crepe Man.  

There will be a cycle valet service available on the day to encourage people to cycle to the event, they can then park up their bikes securely at bike stands within the park at the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion which will be supervised for the duration of the event. The festival has been reusing directional and branded signage since 2019 so that is certainly sustainability in practice!

  1. Activities and Accessibility! 

Popular attractions on a gigantic scale will feature again this year, in the form of the Stardome Giant Inflatable Planetarium brought along by Blackrock Castle Observatory and the cheeky 40ft walkthrough inflatable model of the human digestive system from APC Microbiome Ireland.

In fact there are over 45 different science based activities and demonstrations to discover throughout the scenic park, walkabout scientific performers, interactive stands, an active sports zone, microscopic wonders, lego mania, remote controlled robots, DNA investigations,  and discoveries big and small.

Accessibility is a key focus to ensure enjoyment for all, and in consultation with the Deaf Community in Cork, provision will again be made to ensure sign language interpretation is available at live show performances and for ad hoc requests. The park itself is fully wheelchair accessible. They will also have a designated quiet zone in the area near the Sky Garden (where the reflective silver spheres are) which might be useful for young children or those with noise sensitivities.

  1. Navigate the Science Fun with Carnival Map and Brochure! 

A top tip is to make sure to scan the QR Code for the festival brochure on arrival, this includes a colourful map of Fitzgerald’s Park with all the festival attractions laid out alongside the key what, where and when details of shows, workshops, and demonstrations to check out on both days.

This will allow you to plan your route to take it all in, or hone in on particular areas of interest! Guiding you on your scientific adventure will be themed routes including ‘Exploration Avenue’, ‘Innovation Way’ and ‘Discovery Drive’ which will map out where rows of workshops and interactive experiences are located within the park. Here hands-on workshops will offer the chance to try out a broad variety of science-based tasks.

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