The Big Bang Fair, inspiring more young people into STEM careers
With just two weeks to go, excitement is building for the return of the popular Big Bang Fair – the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.
There are 29,000 young people registered to attend The Fair at Birmingham’s NEC – more than 60% of whom are from priority schools, those which have the highest proportion of young people from groups who are under-represented in the engineering profession.
Supported by organisations from across the engineering and technology sector and beyond, this year sees 26 new supporters join The Fair including DePuy Synthes, Nissan Motors, and The Blair Project.
Also debuting at The Fair this year will be a newly formed ‘Opportunities in Aviation & Aerospace’ group – which includes Civil Aviation Authority, Aerobility, Royal Aeronautical Society, British Airways, and TUI. Exhibiting in a joint space, the group are joining forces to showcase the skills and career opportunities available in the aviation and aerospace industry.
This mirrors a similar collaboration seen with the ‘Routes into Rail’ group which includes leading rail industry organisations.
Exhibitors have an array of exciting, interactive activities lined up for young people this year – all designed to ignite a passion for STEM. Highlights include exploring coding for good from Amazon, learning more about sustainability from Rolls Royce, changing lives with audiology and optometry from Specsavers, a drone coding experience from Code4Drones, and a virtual reality space walk from the University of Sheffield’s Women in Engineering society.
Young people will also be able to find out more about engineering careers, including green careers, throughout The Fair and at the dedicated careers panel stage. This year will also see the return of stage shows – where The Ministry of Science will host an exciting live experiment and The University of Wolverhampton will lead a journey through time with chemistry.
Matthew Ewing, Vice President for Vehicle Engineering at Nissan, commented: "Nissan is delighted to exhibit at this year’s Big Bang Fair and help open the minds of young people across the UK to the possibility of STEM careers. Nissan has a rich history of engineering and manufacturing in the UK but as the industry navigates a seismic shift towards electrification and sustainable mobility, its essential that we engage and attract the next generation of talent into the sector.
“Young people truly are the future of our business, and our Nissan team is looking forward to showcasing the exciting opportunities available and helping them make more informed career choices."
Joanna Cook, Senior HR Business Partner at NaturalMotion, commented: “We’re thrilled to invite students at The Big Bang Fair to virtually step into a game studio through our Access All Areas experience. Through this fun and educational event, we can further broaden access to STEM opportunities for everyone, especially young creative minds from different backgrounds.”
Phillip McShane, Associate Director – Big Bang Programme at EngineeringUK, commented: “With the demand for engineers continuing to grow, it’s more important than ever that we’re igniting a passion for STEM among young people and giving them opportunities to meet real-life engineers and role models – so that more are inspired to pursue careers in engineering and technology.
“We wouldn’t be able to run The Big Bang Fair without support, so we’re delighted to welcome our returning supporters, as well as many new ones this year. It’s shaping up to be a really exciting event and we can’t wait to welcome our young visitors to discover the magic of STEM.”
Also taking place at The Fair, will be the student showcase for The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition – where this year’s finalists will exhibit their projects. Winners will also be announced at the awards ceremony, including the crowning of the prestigious UK Young Engineer and UK Young Scientist of the Year.
The Big Bang Fair is taking place from 21 to 23 June 2023 at the NEC in Birmingham.