We’re delighted to announce an exciting programme of events at Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre for the upcoming STEM weeks at the hugely discounted price of just €6.50 per child. Each booking includes access to the science centre, 120 acres of gardens within the demesne as well as the playground which boasts Ireland’s tallest treehouse and a fully covered picnic area.

Space Week

4 – 11 October

Journey to the Moon – In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landings and Birr Castle’s connection to Neil Armstrong, join us for our Journey to The Moon workshop. This two hour workshop investigates the world of human space exploration from rocket launches to in-depth lunar discovery. How might the moon be used as a base for a human space flight to Mars? Explore how, why and when craters were formed on the moon’s surface. Build your own lunar buggy to overcome this bumpy surface.

Included in this workshop are a visit to the Science Galleries where you will see the Lunar Heat Machine, an amazing piece of engineering by the 4th Earl of Rosse that was the first to correctly measure the heat of the moon which was confirmed by the first astronauts to land there. A letter from Neil Armstrong to Lady Rosse is on display within the exhibition.

Maths Week

12 – 20 October

Maths in Space – explores our solar system. We will look at our neighbouring planets and compare their relative sizes and distances from the Sun. Using a variety interactive activities the pupils will learn the names of the planets within our solar system, their order from the Sun and their relative sizes. We will then walk the solar system to demonstrate how vast this small section of space is before comparing that to the Milky Way and Observable Universe. Be prepared to be AMAZED!

Science Week

10 – 17 November

It’s Gas! Explores climate change and the greenhouse effect in a child-friendly way. Using inquiry-based learning, the pupils will explore how carbon dioxide is produced within modern society and how that impacts upon global warming and how a warmer climate affects everything from sea levels to biodiversity. A variety of scientific experiments and investigations will help them draw their own conclusions as to what steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint.

**All workshops are suitable for 3rd class and above**

**These programmes sold out last year within two days, so book early to avail of the discounted offer and avoid disappointment**

To book contact Alison Delaney, Educational Development Officer at Birr Castle, on 0831006559.


The Remarkable Parsons Family of Birr Castle


William Parsons, 3rd Earl

William Parsons
3rd Earl

Designer of the Great Telescope
Discoverer of the Whirlpool Nebulae

Mary Rosse, Pioneer Photographer and Blacksmith

Mary Rosse

Pioneer Photographer

Laurence Parsons, 4th Earl

Laurence Parsons
4th Earl

Inventor of the Lunar Heat Machine

Charles Parsons

Charles Parsons

Inventor of the Steam Turbine

William Brendan Parsons

William Parsons
7th Earl

Plant Hunter and Horticulturist

Take a journey with the Parsons family who have achieved global recognition in the fields of astronomy, engineering, photography and horticulture.


  • Walk through the science galleries as they document how the world’s largest telescope was designed and built.
  • Discover the moment in Birr that suddenly made the universe a much larger place than people realised.
  • View the original charcoal drawings of the Whirlpool galaxy as observed by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in the 19th Century.
  • What is the Lunar Heat machine and why is there a letter from Neil Armstrong to the Parsons family on display next to it?
  • Look into the past as you encounter the oldest complete darkroom in the world as well as some of the world’s oldest photographs.
  • Learn about the outstanding and globally significant inventions of Charles Parsons and the impact his engineering had upon the Titanic and HMS Dreadnought.


Let the education team take you on an extraordinary journey through the history of one of Ireland’s most remarkable families.