Skip to content

News Item

Discover Ireland's rocks; Jawsome Sharks and Vikings in the Midlands for Science Week at the National Museum of Ireland

Carol Smith, archaeological conservator at the NMI, in the video 'Glendalough: Artefacts and Archaeology'

Celebrate Science Week 2021 at the National Museum of Ireland with these events and resources exploring topics ranging from Vikings and archaeology to geology, sharks and stinging wasps.

Science Week is organised by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and it is an annual week-long event celebrating science in our everyday lives. This year, Science Week takes place from 7 to 14 November and features a national programme of workshops, science shows, talks, laboratory demonstrations, science walks and other science-related events.

The Education and Outreach Department at the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology is delighted to be continuing their partnership with Midlands Science for Science Week 2021. During the week, the team will be working with Midlands Science to broadcast specially designed workshops into 3rd and 4th classes in Co. Longford. They will also be launching a new series of Viking videos, created in partnership with Midlands Science. Find out more below.

The National Museum of Ireland - Natural History is celebrating Science Week through the Let's Talk Science Festival with an online family event on Saturday, 13 November, all about some 'jawsome' sharks, including the basking shark, found off the Irish coast.

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life is hosting an online talk on climate change and running some 'out of this world' workshops for schools exploring our solar system in partnership with Science Ireland. 

The National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History is broadcasting an online talk all about conservation and is also inviting people to learn about the world beneath our feet in the new exhibition Down to Earth, Exploring Ireland's Geology.

Find out more about these and other events, resources and activities to enjoy this Science Week at the Museum.

EXHIBITION: Down to Earth, Exploring Ireland's Geology

NMI - Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks, Dublin 7

The newest temporary exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History in Dublin is a perfect place to visit this Science Week. Down to Earth, Exploring Ireland's Geology, developed in partnership with GSI, tells the story of how scientists have developed their understanding of our planet over the last 175 years. It looks at the long and proud history of geology in Ireland; explores how geology is relevant to everyday life; demonstrates the central role both rock and minerals play in how we interact with the world; and informs visitors about the effects of climate change. Booking required. BOOK NOW

LECTURE: The many phases of the shrine of the Cathach

NMI - Archaeology (online)
1pm, Wednesday, 10 November 

This illustrated talk by Dr Paul Mullarkey, senior archaeological conservator at the National Museum of Ireland, is part of the Museum's Colmcille 1500 autumn lecture series. It will provide a brief survey of eight known book shrines from Ireland that range in date from the early ninth to the mid-sixteenth centuries. These elaborate shrines contained venerated manuscripts and acted as symbols of power, prestige and sanctity. They were often used as insignia of office, battle talismans, for collecting tributes, swearing oaths, endorsing contracts and treaties, curing, cursing, and for funeral, ecclesiastical and inauguration ceremonies. Booking required. BOOK NOW

ONLINE TALK: Climate Change - the science, the solutions and the future

NMI - Country Life (online)
4.30pm, Friday, 12 November

Join physicist, maker and passionate STEAM educator, Declan Holmes, for this live online talk about climate change and how it affects us here in Ireland. Declan will explore the science of climate change, the sources of greenhouse gases in Ireland and some of the solutions, from cheap renewable energy to the future of food. Booking is essential. FIND OUT MORE

PREMIERE: Viking Videos

NMI - Archaeology (online)
3pm, Friday, 12 November

Learn all about the Vikings and the role of science in archaeology through a new range of Viking videos from the Education and Outreach Department at the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, in partnership with Midlands Science. These videos are designed for 3rd to 6th class students and are curriculum linked to the SESE History, Geography and Science curricula. They are also suitable for families. Subscribe to the Museum's Youtube channel to receive a notification when this video series on science, archaeology and all things Viking becomes available. SUBSCRIBE TO YOUTUBE CHANNEL


NMI - Natural History (online)
11am, Saturday, 13 November

Join an interactive virtual session to learn about ‘jawsome’ sharks found at the NMI - Natural History. This fun session for families is part of the Let’s Talk Science Festival organised by the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun. Enjoy a short 20 minute pre-recorded virtual session on the Museum's YouTube channel and ask your questions about all things sharks, using the comments, for Museum Educators to answer live during the event and throughout the day. Register your interest on Eventbrite to receive your link to the event. REGISTER NOW

ONLINE TALK: Curious About Conservation?

NMI - Decorative Arts & History (online)
1pm, Sunday, 14 November

Learn all about conservation of museum objects in this pre-recorded online talk with conservators Hannah Power and Ellen McKeever. Hannah Power's area of expertise is applied arts (social history and decorative arts) conservation while Ellen McKeever's area of expertise is paper-based collections conservation. Hannah and Ellen recently undertook extensive work on the conversation of two Museum objects which featured in the recent exhibition InForm. FIND OUT MORE

EXHIBITION: The Natural Environment

NMI - Country Life
Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co Mayo

See how the fertility of the land affected the quality of life for the vast majority of the population in Ireland in the 1800s in The Natural Environment, part of the permanent exhibitions at the NMI - Country Life. Some areas of Ireland contained desirable resources such as rich, well-drained land with easy access to a bog for turf used for fuel. Others were characterised by rocks and poor soils. See how the natural environment influenced quality of life, house building and the materials used to craft everyday objects. BOOK NOW

VIDEO: Glendalough: Artefacts and Archaeology

NMI - Archaeology (online) 
Watch now on Youtube

Explore the role of the archaeologist, the role of the Museum, and the evidence that can be gained from object analysis, in this video inspired by the archaeology and objects from the valley of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. This video looks at the exhibition Glendalough: Power, Prayer and Pilgrimage at the NMI - Archaeology and also includes behind the scenes footage of the Museum laboratories, archives, and stores. Other segments were filmed at National Monument sites and the National Park at Glendalough, the UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture at University College Dublin, and the Radio Carbon dating laboratory, 14CHRONO, at Queens University, Belfast. WATCH NOW

VIDEO: The Weird World of Ireland's Stinging Wasps

NMI - Natural History (online)
Watch now on Youtube

Join curator and entomologist, Dr. Aidan O’Hanlon, for a whistle-stop introduction to the bizarre and diverse world of Ireland’s stinging wasps in this online talk as part of the series 'Tales from the Decant' . The familiar stinging wasp is an angry yellow and black insect that becomes a nuisance at picnics, or forms large nests near our homes. In reality, there are over 100 stinging wasp species in Ireland and each have diverse and fascinating survival strategies. Most are stealthy killing machines, some are the sneakiest thieves imaginable and others are important pollinators and agents of natural pest control. WATCH NOW

TALK SERIES: Climate Change and Archaeology

NMI - Archaeology (online)
Watch now on Youtube

See what science and archaeologists are discovering about climate change and archaeology through this online talk series, available to watch back now on the Museum's Youtube channel. Many archaeological monuments are experiencing the impact of changes in the environment and the climate crisis. This series of online talks explores how archaeologists and conservation architects are tracking, and responding, to these threats. The talks discuss the problems for archaeological sites arising from severe weather, what actions are being taken, and suggests how technology and other approaches can be utilised to manage the situation, or to record the monuments before they are lost. WATCH NOW

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date

Receive updates on the latest exhibitions