EngineeringUK

Media release - 17/2/2009

National Science and Engineering Week: creating a buzz

Forward planning release from the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) National Science and Engineering Week: creating a buzz National Science and Engineering Week 2009 (6-15 March) is on its way and there’s a lot going on. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in events all across the UK, from Aberdeenshire to Cornwall, Carmarthenshire to Kent.

Activities kick off with a major celebration of the science and engineering achievements of young people – The Big Bang Fair: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair. Featuring exciting shows, exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops across the entire science and engineering spectrum, this landmark event will see two 13-19 year olds win the new National Science Competition and be crowned ‘UK Young Scientist of the Year’ and ‘UK Young Technologist of the Year’.

Speaking about the forthcoming events Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation, who will be presenting the National Science Competition awards, said: “Science is more relevant than ever: in business, in healthcare, in building a sustainable future. That's the message behind the ongoing "Science: So What, So Everything" campaign. It's also at the heart of National Science and Engineering week.

“We need to inspire the scientists of tomorrow, by showing young people that science touches their lives in every imaginable way. There's a fantastic programme of events this year - and I'm delighted to be involved."

The 2009 theme for National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW) is ‘Change’. Events range from the serious to the seriously funny: from a lecture by The Environment Agency on the need to plan for future flooding and a YouTube video making competition for Civil Engineers to a youth science focused radio station “Supersonic FM” and a guided walk on Mancunian Ingenuity, focusing on how Manchester was shaped as the world’s first industrial city.

This year, the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) are offering a £1,000 cash prize for the overall winner for each of the following NSEW event categories which are open to any NSEW event organisers (apart from the school category which is restricted to preschools, primary schools, secondary schools and 6th form colleges):
• Best engineering event
• Best science event
• Best schools event
• Outstanding contribution to NSEW

People are also being encouraged to take positive action to help the UK’s bees as part of the Week. Bees are responsible for pollinating a third of all the foods we eat, and the dire situation that these amazing creatures are facing is a big issue. The Save Our Bees campaign aims to make people more aware of the situation and what we can each do to help make a difference.

The public will be able to speak directly to bee experts as well as take part in fun and informative bee-related activities at regional events taking place around the UK – from honey tasting, bee nest making, and bee-flying demos, to the chance to decipher and then perform the waggle dance with Natural History Theatre company Pif-Paf.

To find out more about National Science and Engineering Week, including other competitions and mass participation activities such as The Waterwheel Challenge and the Change Exchange social forum, visit www.nsew.org.uk.
National Science and Engineering Week is coordinated by the British Science Association in partnership with the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). Save Our Bees is sponsored by Rowse Honey.

For further information please contact:
Gareth Lyon, Communications Executive, EngineeringUK
Tel: 020 3206 0445 or (m) 07887 943 017

Notes for Editor
1. About National Science and Engineering Week (6-15 March 2009)
• Theme for 2009 is ‘Change’. This fits with Darwin200 and the International Year of Astronomy, both happening in 2009.
• Coordinated by the British Science Association in partnership with the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).
• Events are organised throughout the UK by a large and varied range of organisations and individuals, including hospitals, universities, schools, industry and museums.
• Aimed at everyone from children and adults, to decision-makers and investors and is intended to:
o engage and inspire people of all ages with science, technology and engineering and their implications, o promote discussion and understanding of what science, engineering and technology can and cannot achieve,  promote knowledge of the scientific method, i.e. how scientists go about their work and reach their conclusions, o promote science, engineering and technology studies beyond the age of 16, and science, engineering and technology as career options.
• Takes science and engineering to the public rather than waiting for the public to find science. The week draws many scientists into the public domain to discuss their work with interested audiences.
• For more information visit www.nsew.org.uk.
• 2008 Vital Statistics:
o An estimated 3,500 events; from hands-on activities to discussions, tours and online activities
o 1.4 million participants 

About the British Science Association
The British Science Association is the UK's nationwide, open membership organisation that exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering. Established in 1831, the British Science Association organises major initiatives across the UK, including National Science and Engineering Week, the annual British Science Festival, programmes of regional and local events, and an extensive programme for young people in schools and colleges. For more information please visit www.britishscienceassociation.org

The Science [So What? So Everything] campaign aims to encourage the public to take a greater interest in science. It is about highlighting its importance to people’s everyday lives and the role it plays in helping to strengthen the UK economy. To find out more about the campaign visit www.direct.gov.uk/sciencesowhat.

About DIUS
DIUS brings together the nation's strengths in science, research, universities and colleges to build a dynamic, knowledge-based economy. Its primary role is to drive forward the delivery of the Government's long-term vision to make Britain one of the best places in the world for science, research and innovation. And to raise the level of education and skills at every level in our economy to give the UK a competitive edge. Media release - 17/2/2009