Over 1,000 young people from secondary schools across Kent enjoyed a hands-on experience of interactive science fun at Discovery Park.
The Big Bang event brings STEM to life through workshops and ‘drop-in zones’ explore everything from tsunamis and bridge design to ‘drunk goggles’. The star of the show was YouTuber and Blue Peter science presenter, Greg Foot, who was on hand to talk about his scientific adventures in the ocean depths.
Organised by The STEM HUB, based at Canterbury Christ Church University, the event involved big-named businesses such as National Grid, the Universities of Kent, Medway and Canterbury Christ Church, Pfizer and NHS England as well as a host of other companies and organisations.
Also present at the event were the Mayor of Sandwich, Cllr Paul Graeme and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Veronica Liote and Sandwich town councillors Cllr Michael Holloway and Cllr Dan Friend.
From using the ‘Simbulance’ – state-of-the-art technology to demonstrate basic life support for a cardiac arrest – to making medicines, virtual reality and 3D printing demonstrations, there were plenty of experiments to spark the imaginations of the students.
Other activities included using an ultrasound machine to find out about radiography, using glowsticks to find out about cold light, and driving a remote control bomb disposal robot to find out about military engineering.
There were also many physical activities for the pupils to get involved with, including a series of challenges to test their perception and speed.
Hellen Ward, Director of The Hub of the South East of England said:
“Big Bang has become a central part of the Kent and Medway annual STEM calendar. Now in its fourth year, the students and companies who attend this event bridge the gap between schools and businesses.
“Discovery Park provides an inspirational location for students and demonstrates what is possible with a career in STEM.
Kimberley Anderson, CSR and Community Manager for Discovery Park, said:
“Education runs through the core of everything we’re trying to achieve at Discovery Park. Without the opportunities to encourage the next engineers and scientists we’d have a job on our hands to thrive.
“The Big Bang is great for getting across some really complex concepts in such a simple way, helping to light a spark that can inspire a generation. And those sharing their knowledge look as if they’re having as much fun as the kids too!
“This is the place where we can plant a seed that will leave them curious, astonished, amazed and wanting to learn so much more.
“Not everyone that comes along to Big Bang will end up being an astronaut, a doctor or the inventor of a new drug that rids the world of disease, but events like this help to set the foundation for skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.”
Youtuber and BBC science presenter Greg Foot took the students on a scientific journey to the bottom of the ocean as part of his live show. – with a presentation full of tales of coral spirals and marine snow set against key themes around conservation.
“What a cracking site and event. At these Big Bang events there is so much going on. You can see all these students being hands on with science and engineering, getting inspired to even pursue it as a career or just look at the world and be more curious. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of it.”
Those hosting exhibits and workshops included: APS Produce, Canterbury Christ Church University, East Kent College, University of Greenwich, Kent University & BioProNET, Hadlow College, Hilderstone Amateur Radio Club, STEM ambassadors, Seksui Diagnostics, QMSI Construction, National Grid, Rotary International, Royal Engineers Museum, Cyber Prevent, Kingston University, NHS England, IMechE, IET, Pfizer, The Astronomy Roadshow, Youtuber Greg Foot, and The Edgehub.
Find out more about education at Discovery Park.