Aquatic adventures explored at Science of Water Marquee

All things aquatic will be explored in the Science of Water marquee during Foyle Maritime Festival next month.

From building a boat to delving into the River Foyle’s rich past, visitors will be able to view these exciting events happen right before their eyes.

3.+Bringing science and technology to life in the most imaginative and entertaining way, the Science of Water marquee, sponsored by DuPont™ Kevlar® to celebrate its 30th anniversary, has a full programme of activities for all ages along Queen’s Quay during the festival from July 14th to July 22nd.

Speaking about the extensive programme of activities, shows and installations for the Science of Water, Paul Kirkpatrick from DuPont™ Kevlar® explained: “As Education Sponsor for the festival, we really wanted to deliver a STEM focused programme that would encourage children and young people to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. STEM is fun, exciting and opens up a world of discovery for curious minds – and we’re delighted to be supporting this new attraction at the festival for 2018.”

STEM Aware is sure to engage passers-by with its range of activities which will make learning seem so easy – and fun. Fergal the Legenderry Shark, guided by his mermaid friend, will test your sense of smell and bring you on the Voyage of a Shark. How can a shark smell in water? Or you could try your hand at creating a cork boat and then race it along a water channel. Perhaps you’ll don some goggles and gloves to make your own Sea Safe Slime – and what about taking on your own Foyle Minecraft Challenge by building a boat on a virtual River Foyle map?

The opportunities are endless and to round it all off, the public will be invited to participate in the Wet Wet Wet Science Show, with a series of interactive activities requiring volunteers to help demonstrate some splashing science theories – will you spot the Wet Wet Wet songs interspersed? And as the title suggests, the audience may end up ‘wet wet wet’ themselves!

Roisin Crawford, Creative Director with STEM Aware, said: “We are delighted to be facilitating some very exciting activities for the whole family in the Science of Water marquee, we look forward to everyone getting a little messy and perhaps a little wet for science!”

A drier, but no less entertaining show will come from Blue Eagle Productions, which has a wealth of experience in theatre education around the UK. They will present ‘Professor Flo and the River Foyle Show’, aimed at 8 – 12 year olds but guaranteed to get a laugh from all ages. The audience will see Professor Flo wonder why the River Foyle is hardly used anymore before she meets four historical characters who remember when the river was central to so much that happened not only in the city but in the wider area – from the Spanish Armada to the Second World War with all the shipbuilding and bridge building in between. The professor will also take a look at the environmental aspects of the river.

Jonathan Burgess from Blue Eagle Productions created the 25 minute show specially for this year’s Foyle Maritime Festival. He said: “I think we have one of the most splendid natural resources in the river Foyle but everything turns its back on it! The perception is that the river is just something that’s there but in the past it was seen as a vital component. I remember being on the quay a lot when I was a boy in the late 1970s and 1980s. My father was a coal importer and when I was about 7 or 8, I was on a Chinese coal boat, The Regent Ranger, which was one of the biggest ships ever here. The Foyle Maritime Festival and Clipper Race yachts bring the focus onto the river – how great it would be if we could keep it there!”

Among the other attractions will be a boat built in real-time within the marquee.

Driftwood Canoe Club will be on-site throughout the week with a team of expert boat builders making one of their specialities, a hand-crafted strip wood Canadian canoe.

Members of the public will be able to watch the experts at their work and maybe even lend a hand by making seats or paddles.

Hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the canoe club will be working in association with North West Regional College, supported by the Loughs Agency.

John Duddy from Driftwood said: “This is a unique challenge as it took us nine months to build our last canoe – this time we will do it in 80 hours! Our club was set up in 2016 after members enrolled on a boat-building course with NWRC and we welcome the opportunity to work with the College again.”

John Cartin from NWRC said: “The College is excited about this new innovative joint project which has evolved into student work-based learning which is so important to our ethos of student engagement. The young people will improve their employability skills by working on communication, problem-solving, resilience and aspiration.”

The Driftwood Club will also be putting on the Foyle Bubble Challenge, a fun, fast-paced and interactive canoe challenge where a three person team will tackle a themed obstacle course in a Canadian canoe at Foyle Marina. Through the city gates, dodging the water soakers, around the Guildhall and all against the clock in front of a bumper festival crowd with a live commentary! Heats will take place on Monday, July 16th and Tuesday, July 17th between 12 noon and 6 pm, with a grand final on Saturday, July 21st from 6 – 8 pm. For further details and to book, go to:

Jacqueline Whoriskey, Festival and Events Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, is delighted with the standard and variety of programming for this new attraction, saying: “We’ve worked closely with our Education Sponsor and local organisations to develop a quality educational programme as part of the event and believe that the diversity and range of events and activities on offer will be well received by visitors to the event.”

For the full festival programme, visit: or you can follow on Facebook at: and on Twitter @Foylemaritime