'Play is the highest form of research' - UCD is having a massive free festival

Here are some of the highlights...

The second UCD Festival will take place in Belfield on Saturday, June 10th and it promises to celebrate thinkers, creators, educators, innovators and fun makers.

It has a stacked line-up of free events taking place across the campus which include thought-provoking talks, interactive exhibitions with UCD scientists and researchers, creative workshops, live performances, family fun, campus tours and an international food fair.

The event is open to all and will offer the public a chance to enjoy the university's facilities while meeting academics and students.

Here's a taste of what's going on:

Let’s Play - inspiring the next generation of scientists

'Play is the highest form of research' according to Albert Einstein. Join the conversation on how educators, researchers and parents inspire young people's interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. Science writer and journalist Dr Claire O'Connell talks about LEGO with Dr Ellen Kooijman from the Swedish Museum of Natural History who created the LEGO Research Institute.

Cyber Security

Keeping up to date with the cyber world is an increasing challenge in a fast-paced digital environment. Adults, children, employees and employers all need to be attuned to the danger of cyber threat. Dr TJ McIntyre of the UCD Sutherland School of Law and civil liberties group Digital Rights Ireland will chair a panel of experts in the field of cyber security, cyberpsychology and cybercrime. Following brief presentations, the audience will be encouraged to get involved.

Child Mental Health

Dr Blánaid Gavin is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with a wealth of experience in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of young children and offers a caring, nurturing approach to each child and family’s needs. She will give a talk on the issues facing children, adolescents and their parents today. There will also be a Q&A session.

Faking Breaking News

With the death of traditional news channels, social media channels are becoming essential political campaign tools – a sinister world of fake news has emerged. The panel will include a mix of participants with backgrounds in traditional media mixed with social media, legal and academia.

Philosophers Café

Meet philosophers from UCD School of Philosophy to discuss free will, human consciousness, moral certainty, political power and other philosophical topics in a lively and informal setting.

From Scribble to Stage and Screen

Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director Audi Dublin International Film Festival and UCD alumna will chair a panel discussion, exploring contemporary Irish screenwriting and film-making with key writers and practitioners.

Mission to Mars with Dr Niamh Shaw

Budding astronaut Dr Niamh Shaw will share her adventures as Crew 173 on the Mars Analog Mission simulation project in the Utah desert with The Mars Society.

Celebrating Poetry

This will feature representatives from English and Irish language poetry and European poets in translation.

Mind and Body Wellness Zone

Check out the UCD Festival Mind and Body programme at the Wellbeing Zone, there will be a range of interactive activities taking place for children and adults to enjoy throughout the day. Festival attendees are invited to explore the many different aspects of wellbeing including a sensory zone, mindfulness, tai-chi, singing and dancing performances, yoga for kids and other activities.

Experience Science, Health and Wellbeing at UCD

The UCD O’Brien Centre for Science will play host to a range of interactive events. Meet the UCD scientists at the ‘Science for YOU’ event. It will bring science to life and will feature an exciting, enlightening and engaging line-up.

UCD’s 'Evolutionary Garden' that won Gold at Bloom 2016 for best Concept Garden will feature as part of the programme.

Family Fun Zone

The UCD Sport & Fitness Centre will be host to a range of high-octane activities for families and children to enjoy. Family BBQ, Reading Tents, Leinster Rugby will host mini rugby drills. The Bank of Ireland Main Stage will also feature performances throughout the day.