Coordinated by STEM Sussex

Crawley STEMfest has landed

Date: April 3, 2017

Crawley STEMfest has landed

Nearly 100 guests from industry and education launched the biggest and most exciting STEM festival for young people in the region.

The Crawley STEMfest launch was hosted for the first time by Manor Royal company, Welland Medical, with Managing Director, Chris Primett, reinforcing what an important initiative this is for the future of our businesses and the importance of encouraging and inspiring young people to fulfil their ambitions, pursuing careers which they might not otherwise have considered.

Guests then heard from inspirational sixth-formers, Megan and Elizabeth O’Shea whose STEM journey took them from a simple science project in 2014 to releasing over 100 GCSE revision videos and interviewing Tim Peake!

Kate McWilliams from easyJet, the world’s youngest female captain, told guests about her unconventional journey into her career. Only 3% of the world’s pilots are female, and there are only 450 female captains. Her talk clearly demonstrated the ongoing need to encourage young people, and especially girls, into the many and varied careers open to them when they study STEM.

Antony Yates, Head of Engineering at STEMfest headline sponsor, Gatwick Airport Limited, gave a company perspective on STEM skills needs. Originally an apprentice himself, he highlighted that there are different routes into STEM careers. He said, “Engineering skills are critical to our business and we want to be at the forefront of inspiring young people to join us and to be part of our continuing future growth and success. We are delighted to be the headline sponsor for both Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang, where we will be able to connect with thousands of local students”

Entertainment was provided by Steve Mould, one third of ‘Festival of the Spoken Nerd’. Steve seamlessly wove real science, like the fountain chain conundrum with comedy.

The evening was once again hosted by Steve Sawyer, Director of the Manor Royal BID. “As well as being a lot of fun, Crawley STEMfest meets an important need,” Steve said. “Low level skills have been described as the greatest threat to UK competitiveness with about 40,000 STEM related jobs left vacant each year. Crawley STEMfest plays a key role in raising the aspirations of local people by introducing them to the fantastic careers on offer at a host of inspiring local companies.”

Crawley STEMfest is organised by STEM Sussex, the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) outreach support department at the University of Brighton, in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Central Sussex College. The headline sponsor is Gatwick Airport Limited, and the launch was sponsored by the Manor Royal BID.

Crawley STEMfest will take place throughout May and June and is expected to involve as many as 20,000 local students. It will again culminate with the Big Bang Fair South East, at the South of England Showground on 28th June. Part of the nationwide Big Bang Near Me programme, it is the biggest single celebration of STEM for young people in the UK, and around 9,000 students and their teachers from across the region will be present.

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The University of Brighton through STEM Sussex will be hosting Crawley STEMfest in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Crawley College.

STEM Sussex | Crawley Borough Council | Crawley College.