Thousands expected at South East science fair

Thousands of young people are expected at the South of England Showground later this month for one of the biggest science festivals ever staged in south-east England.

The fifth annual Big Bang Fair South East, on 29th June, will be attended by 8,500 students and their teachers from almost 200 schools across the region. It is part of the nationwide Big Bang Near Me programme, the biggest single celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

 

Over 160 companies, professional bodies and educational institutions will provide more than 200 STEM-related interactive workshops, shows and demonstrations aimed at giving young people a fun and exciting insight into future courses of study and careers. As one student from Millais said last year’s event, “very interesting stalls and career advice…many different subjects at the fair, very diverse information. Made me think.”

 

Last year the Big Bang Fair was described by a Hazelwick student as “one of the most interesting education events I have ever been to.” This year’s show is set to be even bigger and better! Visitors to the Big Bang Fair South East will be entertained at different spectacles, including the Science Museum’s comedy show and Do Science’s popular “Science Magic … Magic Science” show.

 

The students, aged between nine and 19, can also drive a digger, ride a Segway, get up close and personal with snakes and an eagle, and interact with robots.

 

In addition, young people will demonstrate projects they have entered in the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition, with the best entries going on to represent the region in next year’s national finals.

 

Among the companies providing activities are CGG, Gatwick Airport, Thales, Edwards, Eurotherm, Elekta, and Kreston Reeves, who will demonstrate the STEM-related aspects of their industry and showcase the potential career paths open to young people. Education providers like the Universities of Chichester, Brighton and Portsmouth, and colleges including Northbrook, Plumpton and Central Sussex College will be there, alongside professional bodies such as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

 

The Big Bang Fair South East is organised by STEM Sussex, the outreach department of the University of Brighton. Headline sponsors for the fifth successive year and a major activity provider are Crawley-based CGG, the world’s biggest geosciences company.

 

Jo McKinney-Green, Project Manager, said: “Since it was first held in 2012, the Big Bang Fair South East has continued to grow, both in terms of the numbers attending and the organisations involved – an indication of its increasing importance to the young people of the region and their teachers.

 

“Apart from it being an fun and exciting day for everyone involved, the signs are that since 2012 there has been an increase in the number of  students studying STEM subjects to A-level, and we believe that the hands-on approach of the Big Bang and other events has been a major contributory factor.”

 

For a flavour of what went on at the Big Bang South East 2015, please see pictures here: http://www.crawleystemfest.co.uk/about-crawley-stemfest/big-bang-2015

 

  • For further information about the      2016 Big Bang Fair South East, contact STEM Sussex, tel. 01273 641874 or      email stemsussex@brighton.ac.uk


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