Science in the Garden by Dr. Naomi Lavelle

This week, in the seventh of our series of articles, we have a real treat in store for our readers. The one and only Dr. How (aka Dr. Naomi Lavelle) has written a very special article for us about Science in the Garden, and has enlisted the help of two very capable junior scientists, Culann (aged 8) and Rohan (aged 4), who you will meet in the videos below!

The Hot, Dry Biome, Eden Project - - 219410 by Pam Brophy
The Hot, Dry Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall, UK (Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons)

I watched the ReelLIFE SCIENCE school video competition with great interest last year. What a wonderful way to get children excited and involved in Science. I was delighted to be asked to write an article this year in celebration of the launch of the 2014 competition. I think the topic of Science in the Garden is a great way to open children’s minds up to the science around them… literally right outside their door!

Continue reading “Science in the Garden by Dr. Naomi Lavelle”

Announcing the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Video Topics For 2014!

Here you will find the 2014 ReelLIFE SCIENCE Primary and Secondary school video topics. Teachers and students can select a topic and decide what they are going to focus on for their particular 3 minute video. Check out our Teachers’ Tips page for advice on preparing, making and submitting your video online before the October 17th deadline.

2014 Primary School Topics

  • ‘The Power of Science’
  • ‘The Food we Eat’
  • ‘Science in the Garden’
  • ‘Our Marine World’
  • ‘The Science of Exercise’

2014 Secondary School Topics

  • ‘Science Heroes’
  • ‘Exploring the Cell’
  • ‘Medicines’
  • ‘Physics in Real Life’
  • ‘Vision’ in partnership with VISICORT

This year, to give you more information about the different topics and perhaps give you some ideas for your video, we’re delighted to be able to showcase some of the best scientific research being carried out in NUI Galway, via a weekly series of articles by the researchers themselves.

Continue reading “Announcing the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Video Topics For 2014!”

HABITATS: Atlas of Ireland’s Marine Mammals

The Real Map of Ireland

Image courtesy of the Marine Institute

Last week the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group published their Offshore Marine Mammal Atlas, which surveyed Ireland’s seas for whales, dolphins and seals. The Atlas took six years to complete, with researchers spending over 1,000 days at sea recording more than 3,300 sightings of 35,000 animals.

As you can see from the image above, Ireland’s seabed territory extends far into the Atlantic Ocean, but also contains part of the Irish and Celtic Sea, and taken together is called the “Irish Continental Shelf”. The island of Ireland covers 20,863,360 acres of land but can claim a marine and undersea territory over ten times greater than that, at a staggering 220 million acres. The UN Convention of the Law of the Sea grants Ireland the sovereign right to explore this area and to exploit its natural resources.

Celtic Explorer

Image courtesy of the Marine Institute

The marine mammal survey took over 5,000 hours of survey effort and was carried out on a variety of vessels, including research vessels (e.g. R.V. Celtic Explorer above), naval vessels (e.g. LE Roisin) and even car ferries (e.g. MV Ulysses). Researchers searched the seas ahead of the vessel by eye and using binoculars, typically on the deck but also on the “monkey island” (i.e. on the roof of the bridge) and the “crow’s nest”. Weather conditions and position data were automatically collected by the ship’s onboard computers and GPS. Continue reading “HABITATS: Atlas of Ireland’s Marine Mammals”