Celebrating a return to GwyddonLe and the Urdd's centenary
Once again this year, Swansea University was the sponsor of the GwyddonLe, the science pavilion at the Urdd Eisteddfod, as the nation returned to enjoy the excitement of the Eisteddfod in its traditional home, a field.
The Eisteddfod welcomed a record number of visitors to the field in Denbighshire and the GwyddonLe itself was extremely busy throughout the week. It was a pleasure to see familiar and new faces of all ages enjoying the various activities whavailable to them. The theme of the GwyddonLe this year was Health and to coincide with the Urdd's centenary celebrations, Academi Hywel Teifi staff and the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science came together to create an exhibition celebrating significant developments within health and medicine since the Urdd was established in 1922.
Throughout the colourful and interesting exhibition, children and young people had the opportunity to learn more about medicine and their bodies by handling scientific equipment and playing various games. Interactive activities and scientific experiments were also available such as robots coding with Technocamps, playing a bone-recognition game with the University's Virtual Reality team and much more with our external partners Sbarduno, Wessex Archeology, RAS200 and Llaeth y Llan.
Two very special events were held in the GwyddonLe on the Friday, the first of which was part of the Royal College of Pathologists' 60th anniversary celebrations. Dr Emyr Benbow from the University of Manchester conducted a live autopsy guiding us through the process of body examination and why autopsies are done.
Then, the Morgan Institute Challenge, a public debate competition, sponsored by the Morgan Institute of Advanced Studies, took place with Bro Pedr and Bro Teifi schools going head-to-head. The judges for this year's competition were Llŷr Gruffydd MS, and microbiology expert Professor Angharad Puw Davies with the contestants presenting arguments for and against the statement 'Vaccination against serious infections should be compulsory for the sake of society '. You can read more about the competition here.
Another highlight for the University during the week was seeing members of Aelwyd yr Elyrch, the Students' Union, competing in the Under 25 Recitation Group competition. Despite not winning, the students must be congratulated for their enthusiasm in representing the University at the Eisteddfod and for their effort travelling to Denbigh to compete.
The response - from people of all ages and backgrounds - to the GwyddonLe was fantastic once again this year and several politicians were welcomed to see our work, including Baroness Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health; David TC Davies MP, Under Secretary of State for Wales and Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language. It was also wonderful to be able to welcome the University's Deputy Chancellor, Sir Roderick Evans, and the Head of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Elwen Evans KC, to the GwyddonLe and thank them for their support.
Sian Eirian, Director of the Eisteddfod said, "We are extremely grateful to Swansea University for creating another fabulous GwyddonLe that was full of entertaining activities for the 118,000 people who visited the Urdd Eisteddfod grounds in Denbigh this year. It is a very special exhibition, which offers an opportunity for families, children and adults to enjoy and learn about science in a fun atmosphere and is certainly one of the main attractions on the Eisteddfod field. We look forward to continuing to work together and develop our partnership with the University into the future."