Spark your interest in Science, Invention and Discovery. Join in the celebration of Irish scientific inventors, designers and scientists with a visit to our science and discovery rooms. Featuring live and interactive experiments, and displays of some of their greatest achievements.
The interactive and touch screen technology helps bring this room to life, with real experiments and figures to examine and play with. You can truly understand and appreciate the work of the many men and women who invented items which we still use to this day.
An Offaly man, Henry George Ferguson, revolutionised the farming industry by designing and building a plough with a 3 point linkage to the tractor. His invention and design is still widely used today. A sample back end of a tractor is on view for all to see.
Along with the tractor there is many more fun, weird and wonderful inventions and experiments on display throughout the room. Included is a commuter train track, fiber optics display and a link to NASA space station.
Below are a few examples of the many Scientists and Inventors featured in our permanent exhibition.
The son of a farmer. As a young man he became the first Irishman to build and fly
his own aeroplane, with the 1909 flight of the Ferguson monoplane, and his company later developed the first four wheel drive Formula One car, the Ferguson P99. He then had an important role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor, and his name lives on in the name of the Massey Ferguson company.
Holland designed his first submarine at age 17. In 1873 he emigrated to the United States, where in1878 he built the 'Holland 1'. It could submerge for an hour and travel at 3.5 miles per hour. When he was finished with it, he removed everything of value and scuttled the hull. However, it was recovered in 1927 and now rests in a museum in New Jersey. This and his next two submarines were funded by the Irish Fenian Brotherhood.
Aoife McLysaght was born and raised in Dublin. She was educated in Our Lady of Mercy Booterstown, and St. Andrew’s College before starting her studies in Science in Trinity College Dublin where she earned a First Class degree in Genetics and a Ph.D. in Molecular Evolution (Genetics). During her Ph.D. studies she took part in the Human Genome Project.
This was a landmark scientific project and she was part of the sequence analysis team that got the first ever look at the complete DNA of a human being. Based on this work McLysaght and her colleagues showed that early on in vertebrate evolution the genome was completely duplicated and many researchers speculate that this was a pivotal moment in the evolution of animal diversity.
James Drumm worked as a production chemist making things like soap and devising better methods to can food. His work laid the foundation for modern food production methods, one of which was his contribution to successful pea canning, keeping them green and fresh. When Ardnacrusha (hydroelectricity plant on the Shannon) came on line there were very few customers for the electricity. The government at the time asked Drumm to work on a way to power trains. By 1930 Drumm had invented the nickle-zinc rechargeable battery.