Alien Evolution

Location: Blackrock Castle Observatory

( Cork )

Audience: Children / Families

Date: April 6 - April 19 2009 from 11 am

Contact: Clair McSweeney, Email: clairmcsweeney@bco.ie Tel:+353 21 4357917

This year the world celebrates Darwin 200, marking the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin.  Darwin's big Idea - Natural Selection as the mechanism for evolution is 150 years old this year.  The Alien Evolution workshop takes a fun look at how aliens might have evolved on very different planets.


Spend a morning making aliens over the Easter break at Blackrock Castle Observatory. Just drop in any day from next Monday April 6 to Sunday April 19 from 11am for the one and a half hour workshops. Price €5.00 per child.  Aliens Free. Blackrock Castle will be open Good Friday and Easter Monday, closed Easter Sunday.


Suitable for children aged 6-10. Younger children are welcome if accompanied by a parent. Booking not required. Parents can retire to the restaurant at Blackrock Castle and discuss the meaning of life over coffee and home baked treats.


Discover astronomy schools programmes at Blackrock Castle with ongoing workshops Mars Mysteries and Comets at the Castle. These are accredited Discover Primary Science workshops and part of the Discover Science and Engineering schools programme. The facility also offers astronomy enquiry workshops for transition year students at second level.


Workshops are led by Frances McCarthy, a highly experienced astronomy facilitator and physics teacher with a proven background in science communication from science centres in London and Toronto.

Workshops take place with 21st century technology in a 16th century Castle.


Delve deep into space at the multi award-winning exhibition Cosmos at the Castle. Send an email to space!


Research is in association with the Department of Applied Physics and Instrumentation, Cork Institute of Technology.


Dr Niall Smith, Head of Research at CIT said, "The Alien Evolution Workshop is a perfect example of how scientific information can be communicated to the public in a way that we all can understand. That is what BCO is all about - bringing the science to the public, to policy makers, to teachers, to young and old. As BCO continues with its own research programme to search for planets around distant stars, possibly a new earth - who knows? - we are delighted to celebrate the life of our solar system with the people of Cork and all who visit this wonderful city including aliens."


Darwin celebrations are coordinated in Ireland by iSCAN - the Irish Science Centres Awareness Network in partnership with Darwin200 in the UK which is coordinated by the London Natural History Museum. Science Centres and Awareness Groups, Museums, Libraries, Arts Centres, Universities and Institutes of Technology and other organisations will be running events for Darwin 200.






Clair McSweeney,

Facilities Manager,

Blackrock Castle Observatory,



Tel:+353 21 4357917

Email clairmcsweeney@bco.ie"

Web http://www.bco.ie/


About Blackrock Castle Observatory


Cosmos at the Castle is a joint venture between Cork City Council and Cork Institute of Technology. The Castle now houses Ireland's foremost Astronomical Research Facility and a team of scientists working on new technologies for searching for planets around distant stars.

The state of the art exhibition highlights recent discoveries of extreme life forms on Earth and their implications for life in space and invites interactive debate on mankind's ultimate place in the Universe. A gallery of cinema sized, high-definition, digital video screens with proximity sensors allow visitors to interact with the process of the evolution of the entire Universe and of life on Earth.



Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm;

Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11 am to 5 pm.

Admission: €6 adults, €4 concession, €16 family ticket.