20 May 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Looking forward to Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2022
Cork’s Fitzgerald Park will be transformed into an unmissable Big Top science extravaganza on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2022 as Cork’s Carnival of Science makes a highly anticipated return.
A carnival atmosphere will descend on Leeside as young and old are invited to explore, investigate, experiment, and discover the wonders of science, with free entry for all and more than 35 different science-based activities to enjoy!
Supported by Cork City Council and Science Foundation Ireland, Cork Carnival of Science is organised by the Lifetime Lab @ Old Cork Waterworks and expects to draw thousands of visitors for this national and international celebration of science.
Festival highlights include a packed line-up of live demonstrations, Big Top seated shows, hands on workshops and family-friendly experiments. Those attending on the day can try their hand at battery making, explore mechanics and engineering through Lego, journey into space, meet live zoo animals, check out the inner workings of robots, fly kites and extract DNA, just to name just a few!
Headlining the Big Top, Little Top and Live Stage will be ‘Mark the Science Guy’ from RTE’s science show ‘Let’s Find Out’, Science Magic from Belfast’s W5, Eureka from Edinburgh and Phil Smyth from Simply Science.
Welcoming the return of the Carnival of Science, which was postponed for the past two years, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Colm Kelleher said “On behalf of Cork City Council and the people of Cork, I am thrilled to welcome back The Cork Carnival of Science. The festival not only helps to stimulate an interest in science from an early age, but the carnival atmosphere makes it one of the most exciting family events on Cork’s social calendar. It is the perfect blend of science education and entertainment. The opening day on 11th June also aptly falls on Cruinníu na nOg, which is a day of creativity for young people. The Carnival of Science is Cork City Council’s flagship festival”
Adrienne Rodgers, Director of Services, Cork City Council commented “The festival promises unique opportunities to get up close and personal with all types of science from physics to chemistry, biology and more. If you have a young person who loves dinosaurs, animals, nature, outer-space, or magic there is something scientific related to that interest that will undoubtedly capture their imagination. It will also highlight the importance of women in science and hopefully help create STEM employees for the future.”
Mary Walsh, Executive Scientist, Cork City Council and Festival organiser added, “This will be the biggest transformation of Fitzgerald Park since the World Fair in 1902 – it will be a STEM wonderland, packed with fun and exciting ways to enjoy science that is all around us. As a free event over 2 days, it gives families a wonderful way to make science education fun for children, with learning through laughter, experiments, and experience!”
The Cork Carnival of Science will ‘pop up’ in dramatic fashion, with gigantic circus tents, marquees, stands and stalls all being erected in what will not only be Ireland’s biggest outdoor science engagement event but the biggest temporary build in Fitzgerald’s Park since the famed Cork International Exhibition (World Fair) in 1902.
Hands-on workshops are offered by the Royal Society of Chemistry, MadLab, learn it LEGO Education, Bubbly Maths and include marquees from Analog Devices featuring interactive exhibits and challenges, and a journey into space with Blackrock Castle Observatory.
Throughout the day walk about performances will pop up from Eureka Edinburgh, Dr. Ken, and Circus 250. Activity stands will also be provided by Lifetime Lab, UCC Chemistry, UCC School of BEES, Fota Wildlife Park, Tyndall, Cork Sports Partnership and more, encouraging more people into a career in STEM.
And with street cuisine, picnic benches, toilet facilities, a gigantic playground, extensive gardens, the Cork Public Museum and Café all on site it truly makes for the ultimate family day out!
The Carnival of Science aims to be as sustainable as possible and will not only be promoting sustainability initiatives at the event but will operate a 3-bin system to encourage recycling and composting of waste, signage will be reused, and single use plastic will be avoided by not offering bottled water and opting to avoid balloons.
Make sure to get your hands on the festival brochure on arrival, which 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 throughout the weekend.
The event opens from 11am to 6pm daily with seated shows in the Big Top on the half hour starting at 11.30am and the Little Top every hour from 12pm