07 July 2022  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

On one of the hottest days of the year, and after a long bus journey, 65 very excited students and 3 equally excited members of staff arrived at the NEC in Birmingham for ‘The Big Bang Fair’. The fair is the UK’s biggest celebration of STEM for young people and has returned after a long absence, so we were extremely lucky to get hold of tickets before they ran out. It is packed full of activities to provide careers inspiration, advice and opportunities to meet with real scientists and engineers.

We took along Year 7 and 8 students who regularly attend Science Club with Mr Randall and Miss Lam, and then invited students who had selected Triple Science as one of their option choices – so we knew we would be in for a good day, but we did not anticipate how good it would be!

On arriving at the Big Bang Fair students quickly dispersed into the crowd to do as many activities as possible, with one challenge; bring as many freebies back for Mrs Harrison and Mr Randall as possible as well as a sticker for our sign! It was so wonderful to see the students during the day as they brought us back pens, stickers, badges, etc. and told us about all of the things they had been doing.

Sophie Tarran, Ariella Barnett, Isla Simpson and Freya Clement (known as the Fab 4 by Mr Randall) said: “We visited the Radiation Society, National Grid, Specsavers, Archaeology, Network Rail, Cracking Ides and Women in STEM stands, as well as loads of others. Our favourite stand was the archaeology stand because we got to explore things from the past where we held a 4,000 year old hazelnut, a Roman pot and mineralised poo. We also liked the Unboxed stand and the Institute of Mathematics where we took part in activities to challenge our STEM skills.  It has made us think about a future career in STEM because it was inspirational to learn about different things. We were surprised how big it was and how many things you could do. We all thought it was really fun and are really excited to go next year!”

Harriet Wilson said: “I think that the Big Bang Fair was fun and exciting because you got to learn about different aspects of science and how things work whilst having a fun time with your friends. You could do different activities like taking selfies, going into the world of VR, seeing new modernised inventions or just exploring ones that you haven’t seen before. You could also chat to people about their experiences where they work and how they got to where they are now. Overall, I would recommend the Big Bang Fair to anyone who likes science and just wants to have a nice time.”

Matty Partridge said: “My favourite stand was the RAF stand. This was because they gave you a lot of information on future jobs, what I could achieve and what I could become. Yes, the RAF stand made me think of going into the aviation industry and eventually work in the space industry. I enjoyed Megawatt. This surprised me because I enjoyed the game despite its aim at younger people. I think it was a really good way of showing to young people the current struggle with energy and it shows how useful different energy sources can be when applied in different ways. I think it was a great day and well worth the time and effort. I learnt lots of new fascinating things and found out loads more about a future career in STEM. I hope that lots of other people will do this trip in the future.”

The students were busy right up to the end of the fair and we were the last school to leave as so many students wanted to keep looking at the stands. Mrs Harrison, Lead Teacher for Physics, said “When Miss Dorling and I were walking around the fair it was lovely to hear from people on the stands telling us how polite and well-mannered our students were. They threw themselves into the day with gusto and still did not get to see everything. Making slime was a hit with lots of students (sorry parents and carers) as well as the virtual reality experience with the RAF. Students got to use high-powered super computers with the army, race alongside Usain Bolt, see inside their body with the NHS, fly drones and so much more.

“A special congratulations to Josh Kearney who won a pair of sunglasses for navigating a drone through an obstacle course in 34 seconds, when he had a time limit of 90 secs! I was also really impressed by some of the Year 7 girls who attended a careers talk with Andrew Smyth (Great British Bake Off finalist, 2016) and then managed to get a photo with him, as well as his autograph!”

“The bus journey on the way back was long but a special thank you goes out to our driver who made the whole journey better by allowing Bertie Smart to act as DJ for us. Bertie did a brilliant job fielding all the requests and we now have some amazing footage of students doing the YMCA on the way home. Who knew how much our students love a sing along?”

“The whole trip would not have been possible without the support of Ms Mannion and the careers team who very kindly provided the funding for the coach for the trip. For a lot of these students, this will be their first school trip as COVID meant many school trips were cancelled. The day was amazing, the students were amazing, the staff were amazing and the Big Bang Fair was amazing! It was lovely to see the students have such a good time and we are so proud of how well they conducted themselves. They day was only the success it was because of how brilliant they were.”

Scroll to Top