EngineeringUK

Back to School With a Bang

Hundreds of youngsters in South London will be starting the new school year this September with a few nifty tricks up their sleeves, after taking part in ‘What’s The Matter?’ – an exciting summer Street Science Roadshow.

Set up by the organisers of The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair 2011, the Roadshow set out to unleash the passion and skill in young people aged 13-16, generating excitement and interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

A crew of keen scientists took ‘What’s The Matter?’ to busy shopping centres in Croydon and Bromley, inviting young people to take part in a series of show-stopping experiments.

The workshops saw youngsters making giant water rockets, creating elephant-sized toothpaste and extracting iron from breakfast cornflakes. Exhilarating disappearing acts, giant bubbles and liquid nitrogen ice cream all helped to inspire youngsters about the exciting opportunities open to them with science and engineering.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of The Big Bang Education CIC said:  “The Street Science Roadshow really brought the world of science and engineering to life for hundreds of young people.  Developing a passion for subjects such as science and engineering can open a whole host of new and exciting career opportunities, and this was our chance to inspire our talent of the future.

“Teachers play an extremely important role in getting kids excited about science, and highlighting the career options open to them through STEM. These skills are vital to the future growth of the economy and we know that many employers are already experiencing difficulties in recruiting staff skilled in these areas.  In the lead up to The Big Bang 2011, we are working closely with teachers to help make science, technology, engineering and maths more appealing to young people from all backgrounds.”

Rachel Boorman, 22, who attended the event with her younger brother Charlie said: “It was an amazing event. We certainly never had anything like this when I was younger - we just used to read from textbooks in class. The experiments really brought science to life and the kids were all very impressed. Charlie now wants to learn even more about it at school.”

Charlie, aged 11, said:  “The experiments were really funny and exciting. I like science at school but didn’t realise until today that there was so much you could do with it. I’d love to be a scientist one day.”

Teachers are being encouraged to enter their pupil’s work into the prestigious National Science & Engineering Competition (www.nationalsciencecompetition.org). Open to 11-18 year olds, it’s the perfect opportunity to put their big ideas in the spotlight, with the possibility of achieving top recognition and rewards in the process.

Winners of the Competition will be announced at the live finals which take place at The Big Bang - one of the UK’s biggest celebrations of science and engineering.  The event is taking place at ICC London ExCeL from 10th – 12th March 2011, and it gives young people the chance to take part in a host of activities and meet with some of the most inspiring people in science and engineering.

For teachers wanting to know more about The Big Bang 2011, please visit:
http://www.thebigbangfair.co.uk

For further information on the event, please contact Hew Leith hewl@consolidatedpr.com or Lottie Dutton lottied@consolidatedpr.com on 020 7781 2300

Notes to Editors

The Big Bang Education Community Interest Company (CIC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of EngineeringUK. The Big Bang Education CIC is responsible for delivering The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair.

About The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair

The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair will take place from 10-12 March 2011 at ICC London ExCeL and will celebrate and raise the profile of young people’s achievement in science and engineering and encourage more young people to take part in STEM initiatives with support from their parents and teachers. School groups will be invited to visit the first two days of The Big Bang, which will also be open to the public on the Saturday. Students will leave enlightened about how science and engineering feature in everything they wear, eat and do. A number of apprentice, graduate and experienced engineers and scientists will be on hand to quiz and students will have the opportunity to discover a great career.

The Big Bang hosts the finals of the prestigious National Science & Engineering Competition and also kicks off National Science and Engineering Week 2011.

About the National Science & Engineering Competition

The competition is open to all 11-18 year olds across the UK who have completed a project or activity in any field of science, technology, engineering or maths. Entries can come from teams or individuals.

Finalists are invited to present their project at The Big Bang. Here they'll have their own exhibition stand amongst the big household names to show-off all their hard work to journalists, prospective employers and universities – as well as the school groups and VIPs attending The Fair. It’s a great opportunity to display their talents in front of many interested and influential people.

As well as the great prizes for both teams and individuals, winners of the senior individual categories are crowned the UK Young Scientist of the Year or the UK Young Engineer of the Year at the award winners’ ceremony.

For more information please visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/nsec