The Big Bang Science Fair
Year 9 students make a trip to the annual Big Bang Fair to see science in action!
On Friday 15 March, Year 9 made an exciting trip up to Birmingham to attend the Big Bang Science Fair in the National Exhibition Centre, alongside many other school children. Below please find two articles by Edie Vernol Bronte 5 and Paige Cawley Curie 6 describing their experiences.
By Paige Cawley, Year 9, Curie 6
The Big Bang Fair was set up to help inspire and encourage young people into the world of STEM – Science, technology, engineering and maths. The fair was filled with many fun and interactive stands offering an insightful view into the STEM world, showcasing the various different STEM career options available to our generation, including medicine, marine biology, astronomy, chemistry, robots and computer coding.
To help encourage the younger generations there were many people already in STEM professions available to talk and answer any questions about their jobs, what their career entails and how they reached their position, sharing their excitement and passion for their jobs with the future. These included scientists, engineers, mathematicians, astronomers, among many others. Some were stationed at stalls specific to their area of expertise, allowing the students to find out more details and ask questions about specific topics that interest them.
Throughout the day there were scheduled talks accessible to all, demonstrating the fun and interesting aspects of a STEM job and conveying the power and importance of these careers to a wide audience.
In the talk I attended, the audience were able to use their smart phones or tablets to join in with the show, and assist with the scientific demonstration, which enthralled and excited the audience endlessly, showing the amazing wonders of modern technology and inspiring them to head down a path of creating and developing systems like the one used.
A very popular interactive activity there was the careers quiz, where, using one of the tablets provided, you answered a series of questions and then you would get given your top three STEM based careers, depending on your personality and personal preferences. You could then grab information leaflets about the suggestions you got, which went into more detail about the job suggestion.
Also available were hands on experiences with unique, clever machinery like race cars, army trucks and planes, some of which you were able to sit in and touch, getting a look into the parts of important vehicles that you wouldn’t have necessarily seen before, showing how much STEM plays a role in our world, and the many incredible, life-changing things that can be created.
An inflatable planetarium was available to explore, which offered an insightful and innovative way of showing the wonders of space and the beauty of stars and constellations, and emphasising just how much things that happen in space can impact life here. This showed the audience just how fascinating a career in astronomy would be, while providing an unforgettable experience.
Year 9 left the Big Bang Fair feeling excited and many inspired to create a path leading them to a STEM career.
By Edie Vernol, Year 9, Bronte 5
On the morning of Friday 15March, Year 9 were making their way to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. With four coaches brimming with students ready to embark on a STEM adventure, the journey was a long but jovial experience. We arrived along with many other schools, and as soon as we entered the exhibition hall a wave of noise and colour hit us from all directions. We had arrived. Everyone was given a lanyard, which mainly served as a souvenir but contained lots of useful information. We were then sent to roam around in groups of four or more to become knowledgeable about all the fields in STEM that we possibly could in the space of a few hours.
My friends and I explored the whole hall before deciding which places we wanted to visit. As it was quite busy, most activities had queues, so you had to be wise as to which ones to choose. There were SO many different companies exhibiting there, including: RAF, Army and Navy; Specsavers; National Grid; Wateraid; St. John’s Ambulance, and many, many more. There were also various talks going on throughout the day although most stands had an interactive activity to do. For instance, I visited the Specsavers stand where they showed us how they look at people’s ears and eyes, and about careers in audiology and optometry. We also stopped at the Wateraid stand where we went inside a giant Amazon Alexa! We were very confused at first but it taught us how to say: My name is… in Malagasy, as Madagascar was where the next Wateraid mission was.
From other people I heard there were other very exciting activities such as experiencing virtual reality and sitting in the cockpit of a plane at the RAF stand! My friends and I also took a careers quiz that revealed which fields we would work best in when we are older. It revealed that my strengths were: determination, innovation and open-mindedness. I was very happy with that. Unfortunately we only got to spend a few hours at the fair, but we all learnt so much regardless. With a multitude of freebies in our hands, we boarded the coaches to return to school, saying farewell to Birmingham and the Big Bang Fair.
Edie Vernol, 9C