Science Fun at the Urdd Festival

Swansea University science provision will be at its best at the 2012 Urdd Eisteddfod, in the GwyddonLe pavilion on the maes. The naturalist Iolo Williams who has travelled the world will officially open GwyddonLe this morning, Monday 4 June, at 11:00am.

Iolo Williams will then participate in a question and answer session with former Swansea University student and television presenter, Nia Parry at 11:15am.

The former professional footballer, Malcolm Allen, who has won several caps for Wales, will also be calling in to present prizes for the national mathematics competition on Thursday, 7 June at 12:30pm.

Bloodhound will be at GwyddonLe from Wednesday 6 June onwards. Bloodhound is the famous vehicle hoping to break the world land speed record and reach 1,000 miles per hour in 2013.

Researchers from Swansea University’s College of Engineering have contributed to the aerodynamic design of Bloodhound and a video telling the story of its construction will be there throughout the week.

Experts in the field from Swansea University and beyond will be coming together to provide a feast of science to visitors to the Eisteddfod on the Glynllifon estate this week.

Aled Siôn, Director of the Urdd National Eisteddfod said: “The GwyddonLe is considered one of the main attractions of the Eisteddfod and all kinds of interactive activities will be held there during the week, based on the theme of ‘Energetic World.’  As an organisation we are very grateful to Swansea University for their constant support and guidance in the field of science on the maes. They bring their expertise, and offer innovative contributions to children and young people who come to enjoy the festival.”

Academic staff and postgraduate students from the departments of Engineering, Physics, Biosciences, Mathematics, Geography and Medicine at Swansea University will host fun and interactive activities every day.

Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities’ Computer Science Departments will also be there to promote the Technocamps scheme and will be encouraging visitors to control computerized robots amongst other things.

A range of external bodies will display their work in GwyddonLe including Techniquest, the Botanical Garden, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Llanbadarn Lake Railway, First Hydro, Mad Science and many more.

There will be something new to do in the science pavilion every day, including all kinds of scientific craft activities, experiments with windmills, an opportunity to present the weather with an interactive green screen, not to forget the chance to see volcano’s erupt.

At 3 o’clock on Friday afternoon, 8 June, the unique film ‘GLIMPSE: Greenland’s disappearing Ice’ will be shown in the GwyddonLe pavilion for the first time through the medium of Welsh. The film follows glaciologists from Swansea University on their expedition to find out why Greenland's ice is changing.

Academi Hywel Teifi will also be hosting a number of sessions in the GwyddonLe pavilion, including an exciting languages quiz, a special performance by Arwel Lloyd as well as information about the opportunities available to study through the medium of Welsh at Swansea University.

Richard B Davies, Swansea University’s Vice Chancellor said: ‘‘We are pleased to be able to stage GwyddonLe again, building upon its success in previous years. There is more space available this year and we will be showcasing a wider range of university activities. GwyddonLe will provide Swansea with a unique opportunity to promote both our research work and expertise as a university as well as encourage children and young people from all parts of our country to engage with science through the medium of Welsh.  Even more importantly, it will be fun for everyone!’’

Swansea University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Iwan Davies, added: “We are delighted that our partnership with the Urdd has continued with GwyddonLe and we are extremely grateful to all the external bodies for their collaboration this year. The GwyddonLe pavilion continues to go from strength to strength and is a great way to open the door to the world of science through the medium of Welsh. We would like to wish the very best to the Urdd Eisteddfod this year and hope that everybody will visit to GwyddonLe to get a taste of what’s on offer.’’