From rocket powered cars to boa constrictor snakes; hundreds of students and their teachers attending Pennthorpe’s first ever fully interactive Science fair on Friday October 16 were left in no doubt about the diversity and endless possibilities of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers.
Students at the Rugwick-based school experienced science outside the classroom. They were able to learn from each other through projects such as ‘how do eggs save lives?’ or ‘can temperature be used to move things?’ and they also learnt directly from STEM Ambassadors and representatives from Industry. One such team were Bloodhound who are designing a car to break the World Land Speed Record.
Children were left in awe as they absorbed the latest developments and innovations first-hand.
Alan Read and Chris Rickard explained their motivation: “Inspiring those who follow us in life is made even greater when you meet people who share the same passion.”
Engagement and enthusiasm was indeed in abundance. As one student attendee stated: “It was so exciting because so many things were happening at once.”
There were also demonstrations by Jaws and Claws who brought along many wild and wonderful amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects.
The power of animals to captivate the youngsters was evident with gasps of delight and giggling as millipedes, frogs and a huge boa constrictor snake were gently handled and key information about each species was highlighted.
Along with workshops from other professional bodies and local employers such as Doosan, GSK, Pfizer, Elekta, Exxon and Mobil, in all this vibrant event enabled students to think about a future in STEM subjects.
The Big Bang @ Pennthorpe School was attended by local MP Jeremy Quin, who was be lending his support to raising the STEM profile in the local community and praised the school for taking part in the nationwide Big Bang Programme.
Along with the Sponsor Doosan Babcock, Jeremy presented winning teams with their awards in a range of age-related categories. The winners included Seb Taylor, James Studer, Hannah Hadfield and Tayla Philips.
They gained a share of the £500 prize money for their school and automatic entry to the National Science + Engineering Competition (NSEC) in June 2016.
Jeremy Quin MP was impressed. “It is fantastic to see the engagement of children in STEM subjects arising from The Big Bang Programme.
“ It is an inspirational project which opens the eyes of students to a whole range of opportunity.”
The main Big Bang celebration event for the South East, the Big Bang Fair South East, will take place at the South of England Showground on June 29.
Organised by STEM Sussex, the STEM outreach support department at the University of Brighton, it is the biggest single celebration of STEM for young people in the UK, and around 7,500 students and their teachers from across the region are expected to attend.
Report contributed by the University of Brighton.