Culture night – looking at plastics

On Friday 22nd September 2017 many arts and cultural organisations, and venues of all shapes and sizes opened their doors for Culture Night. Each year, an increasing number of events are organised to celebrate and share the rich culture of Ireland.

In University College Cork, many Culture Night events took place. The Ogham Stones collection formed part of the “Living History” tour which also took in the Aula Maxima, the Main Quadrangle and the refurbished Crawford Observatory. Other events included a drama about digital dating, and a slide and polka workshop as Gaeilge.

In the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), Culture Night centred around scientists. The event “Meet the Scientists” saw visitors handle ancient fossils, meeting slithering reptiles and experience “Smart Plants”. Interactive games and experiments were organised, and a Triceratops and albatross were available for a photo opportunity.

Our student, Alicia Mateos Cárdenas, presented her EPA-funded project on the Impact of MicroPlastics in the Irish freshwater environment (IMP). Posters explained the effects of plastics in our environment, and set out ways to reduce our use of plastics.


A microscope was set up, and visitors were encouraged to “find” plastics in the sand, and view the pieces through the microscope. Especially young visitors enjoyed this part!

The success of culture night keeps increasing year on year, and with over 100 visitors to BEES this year, a fantastic night was had by all.