National Science Week

Science Week

One of the most important national events in Ireland to promote science to the general public is National Science Week, held each November.

The School of Chemistry hosts a number of events during Science Week which are aimed at students studying Leaving Certificate Chemistry, and to children and their families.

Programme Structure

Chemistry Instrumentation Tours

Instrument tours are normally conducted for about two hours at lunchtimes during Science Week and are aimed at students studying Chemistry at Leaving Certificate level.  Chemistry teachers are also welcome to attend.  A component of the Leaving certificate syllabus involves studying some of the instruments chemists used to analyse molecules for purity and to determine their chemical structure.  Due to the cost of these instruments, the majority of schools would not be in a position to purchase such machines. 

The aim of the Chemistry Instrument Tours is to show students these machines up close and personal so that students can get a better understanding of the workings of each machine and its specific use in the analysis of molecules. 

Instruments to be seen on the tour include

  • Atomic Absorption (AA) Spectrometer
  • High and Low Resolution Mass Spectrometers (MS)
  • Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) Spectrometers
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer (NMR)

A member of the academic staff or an experienced postgraduate student is assigned to each instrument.  Students are split into small groups and rotated through each machine in turn.

Chemistry Magic Show

A Chemistry Magic Show is held on the Friday evening of Science Week each year.  Members of the general public are invited to attend.  Further details of the content of the Magic Show is available below.  Attendance at the Chemistry Magic Show during Science week is a ticket only event.  Tickets will be made available from early October from the School of Chemistry.  (We do not recommend the Show for children under 5 years old).

When is it on?

National Science week is held every November.


Dr. Declan Kennedy


School of Chemistry


University College Cork, College Rd, Cork, Ireland