Record numbers of students came to this year’s Big Bang Fair South East at the South of England Showground, Ardingly, including students from schools across Mid Sussex.
More than 9,000 students from almost 200 schools attended to learn about the career opportunities available to them through studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
The event hosted the regional heats of the prestigious Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers of the Year competition, which is open to all 11-18 year-olds who have completed a project or activity in any area of STEM.
As headline sponsor, members of Gatwick’s senior leadership team joined the panel of judges to help select the best projects to represent the region in the national finals in Birmingham in March 2018. The airport also awarded the accolades of South East Young Scientist and Young Engineer of the Year.
STEM Sussex Marketing Manager, Michelle Galley, said: “We are really pleased with how this year’s event has gone and would like to thank all the schools and students for getting involved. The whole day was hands-on and interactive and shone the spotlight on a variety of STEM careers and courses on offer. It’s vibrant, noisy and engaging and its impact extends far beyond a single day.”
A dedicated ‘Gatwick zone’ at the event offered more than 15 interactive airport-related activities, supported by a range of airport teams, including airfield, terminals and engineering and various partner organisations including the Met Office.
Gatwick’s Community Engagement Manager, Paula Aldridge, said: “Gatwick was proud to be headline sponsor of this year’s Big Bang Fair in the South East and was pleased to see such a good turn out from schools across the region. “Our objective is to inform the next generation of young people about the wide range of applications of STEM skills at the airport and inspire them to choose STEM subjects – helping to build a pipeline of talent for the future.”