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Cell EXPLORERS at Galway Science & Technology Festival 2016

More than 800 engaged participants, 40 enthusiastic volunteers, 4 interactive workshops, 5 hampers to be won and 1 committed Cell EXPLORERS team made for a recipe for a Fun and Informative Family day out at this year’s Exhibition day at NUI Galway, part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival.

The day started early with our Selfie Competition with our Cell EXPLORERS pop-up stand on the Concourse. Sarah and her 3 daughters were the lucky winners of a hamper!

New this year at the festival, The Arty Scientist workshop, supported by the French Embassy in Dublin and Science week Ireland, inspired participants with our diverse gallery of NUI Galway scientists to draw life-size portraits of themselves as scientists which they could bring home. This workshop was created to bust the myth of scientists only being crazy old men in white labs coats. Assisted by a team of artists and scientists, children drew themselves as mathematicians, doctors, archaeologists and even as a Tiger Scientist! Kyle Luistro won an Arty-themed hamper in our raffle!

At the Little Cells Workshop, children of ages 6-8 got very creative learning about the cells in our bodies. Jumping Clay, The Body Game, The Cell Sizing Game and a dice-based Red blood cells game all featured as we learnt about organs in the body and different cells types. Children got to bring home their own little Jumping Clay cells (complete with smiley face, of course!). Anna Moran won a the Little Cells hamper in this workshop’s raffle!

At EXPLORING Under the Microscope, visitors got the chance to learn about how microscopes work and how they can be used to learn about the world around us. They then used microscopes to figure out how spiders and stick insects walk on walls! Unfortunately there were no live spiders to send home with people, but visitors got to make their own stick insects to bring home instead! Lucky Dylan Taio won the EXPLORING under the microscope Cell EXPLORERS hamper here!

Fantastic DNA! introduced visitors to the wonderful world of DNA. We learned about the role of DNA and where it lives in the cell. Visitors then got stuck in and extracted some banana DNA to bring home, and then got to grips about the famous double helix structure by building some DNA models. Lucky David Masterson won a Fantastic DNA! hamper with his quiz results!

Thank you so much to all keen and enthusiastic participants and to our motivated brilliant team! Less than 12 months to go until the fun returns at GSTF 2017!! See you next year!

Cell EXPLORERS is supported by a SFI Discover award, the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences and the Galway University Fundation. Photography Aengus McMahon

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