NI Science Festival to deliver free education programme for schools in Omagh area

William Smith


William Smith


SCHOOLS and educators in the Omagh area are being encouraged to register for the 2021 NI Science Festival, which has programmed an extensive range of free online events for primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland.

Next month, the NI Science Festival returns for a fortnight of wonder and intrigue from Monday, February 15 to Sunday, February 28, with a huge public programme of over 100 online events covering everything from the natural world, our planet, and the vast expanse of space to engineering, robotics, physics, the mind and body, food and much more.

Alongside its public offering, the festival has developed a dedicated programme for schools and educators which will run online from Monday to Friday, February 8 to 12 and hopes to make distance learning more engaging and exciting for students.

Available to schools and educators for free, the programme boasts over 40 events.

Among this year’s highlights is a Rapper's Guide to the Solar System with festival favourite Jon Chase and the award-winning materials scientist and engineer Anna Ploszajski as she talks to pupils about the nail-biting story and surprising science behind swimming the English Channel.

Headlining this year’s schools and educators programme is astronaut Tim Peake, who will be in conversation with RTÉ's Mark Langtry (aka Mark the Science Guy!).

In 2015, Peake made history as the UK’s first European Space Agency astronaut to visit the International Space Station aboard Soyuz TMA-19M and accompanied by crewmates Tim Kopra and Yuri Malenchenko. During his six-month mission he engaged more than 1.6 million school children across Europe through educational outreach from low earth orbit.

In this very special event, Tim will give a personal take on what it’s like to live and work in space and will answer a selection of questions submitted by school kids from across Northern Ireland.

To date, over 1,000 students from schools throughout Northern Ireland have registered for the event.

NI Science Festival Education Manager Rachel McDermott says: “We’re extremely pleased to reveal this year’s NI Science Festival schools and educators programme which will be headlined by none other than European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake.

“We’re grateful, too, to the many festival partners who are supporting us to deliver this year’s fantastic line-up of events which showcase the breadth of opportunity for a future career in STEM-related subjects.

“The classroom today is unrecognisable from 12 months ago. Our young people have adapted and are seated at kitchen tables and bedroom desks around Northern Ireland, eager to learn and engage with their teachers and classmates. Every year we develop the NI Science Festival schools and educators programme to offer teachers free resources and unrivalled access to world-leading academics, researchers and science communicators. This year, more than others, we hope the programme can provide additional support to educators everywhere working to engage and excite their students while delivering distance learning.”

This year’s schools and educators programme is supported by British Council Northern Ireland, Nerve Centre, Creggan Country Park, Armagh Planetarium, Belfast Zoo, Ulster University, Queen's University and more.

For any questions or queries regarding this year's schools and educators programme, please contact Education Manager Rachel McDermott at

The deadline for questions to be considered for Tim Peake in conversation with Mark Langtry is midday on Friday, February 5.

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