Coordinated by STEM Sussex

Students Think Big at the Big Bang

Date: July 1, 2016

Students Think Big at the Big Bang

How do you get students inspired by science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)? What better way than to take part in the Big Bang Fair South East which took place at the South of England Showground on 29th June. More than 8,000 students from almost 200 schools across the region came to celebrate, be inspired by and engage with the wonderful world of STEM.

Students were spoilt for choice with more than 200 STEM-related workshops, shows and demonstrations which shone the spotlight on study and career options, despite the dull and rather wet weather which failed to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.

David Curran, Head of Technology and STEM Coordinator at Ifield Community College, explained how his students were enthused by the careers and apprenticeships information, particularly the future of train driving. Alongside great advice, they were able to get stuck in with the interactive displays and be inspired by those students who displayed their work:

“Once again brilliant work keeping our students engaged and entertained for several hours … We all really loved the students who were exhibiting and their enthusiasm. Our goal next year is to have our students showing off what we do at ICC with STEM,” said Mr Curran.

CGG, a leader in cutting-edge geoscience and headline sponsor for the fifth successive year had attendees absorbed with a range of hands-on activities involving microscopes, viewing satellite images of the Earth, investigating rock properties with sand and water, and playing with six-metre jelly bean machines!

Sharon Howe, Processing Group Manager from CGG, said, “It’s fantastic that the Big Bang Fair South East was even bigger and better than last year.  Not only is it a great way for us as a company to contribute to our local community and to promote the Earth Sciences in education, but it’s also a great opportunity for our staff to volunteer here, to connect with the students and teachers, and to share their passion and enjoyment for science and technology.   Today’s students are the future workforce, and we hope that they have been inspired by the diversity of people, and opportunities that can be unlocked when they consider a career in STEM. “

Thales, brought school topics to life with a range of activities including a code breaking competition, and IT specialists from Gatwick Airport demonstrated check-in technology and gave visitors to their stand the chance to experience a real-time airfield view system. Other popular activities were a robot who could follow instructions, snapping a selfie with an astronaut or driving in a Formula 1 car simulator. Something for everyone and a true reflection of the variety of STEM careers.

Overall, the day was one of inspiration; inspiring young people to pursue STEM courses and careers, but also the young people inspiring the providers with their enthusiasm and excitement.

The Big Bang Fair South East is organised by STEM Sussex, the outreach department of the University of Brighton. It is the culmination of Crawley STEMfest, a partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Central Sussex College that has been running in schools and in the community since April.

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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.