More than 1,000 secondary pupils from schools across Kent swapped the classroom for a day of interactive fun at Discovery Park
The Big Bang, organised by Kent and Medway STEM, brings companies and educators together with one common purpose: to spark a passion for science, technology, engineering and maths. From medicine making – with balloons as replica molecules – to making waves with Maths (and a water tank) there was plenty going on to fire the imagination and to get across how important STEM subjects are to modern life.
Other challenges included Nature Detectives, identifying animals from their skulls, skin and poo, to how to be an astronaut with an interactive introduction to space as a career. There was even a “Who Wants To Be An Engineer” quiz where prizes where awarded for correct answers. Children are also invited to experiment with chemiluminescent glowsticks and magnetic rocks.
Helen Ward, Director Kent and Medway STEM, said:
“The gap between the numbers of students studying STEM subjects and the requirements of industry for the next generation of skilled STEM workers is still a national concern but with Industry and education working together at events like the Big Bang, the future looks brighter.
“We still need to attract more girls into STEM subjects and companies here today have commented on how it is the girls who are asking about apprenticeships and opportunities for future careers.
“Events like today show it is not just ‘men in white coats’, and the interactive activities give the students an opportunity to see the way this sector is progressing – for example, the virtual reality activity showed them the changing nature of engineering.”
Kimberley Anderson, Corporate Relations Manager for Discovery Park, said:
“Education and providing opportunities for young people is vital to ensuring the future success not only of Discovery Park, but for East Kent’s position as one of the world’s leading centres for science, technology and enterprise.
“This is just one example of where Discovery Park is supporting and educating the next generation; encouraging them study in a fun environment. It provides a vibrant opportunity to inspire the hundreds of students that we have here today – and if we can inspire just few, then we feel like we’ve been successful.
“We are committed to working closely with Kent and Medway STEM, providing opportunities and inspiration for the next generation. This event is a great example of that and thanks must go to all the companies, including many of our tenants, who took part in what was again a fantastic day.”
Those hosting exhibits and workshops included, BioProNet, National Grid, EDF Energy, the University of Kent, the University of Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church University, Science Giants Ltd, Instrutec Controls Ltd, Hale Engineering Consultancy Services Ltd, BAE Systems, Sekisui Diagnostics (UK) Ltd, East Kent College, Wildwood, ARES UK, Pfizer, Mid-Kent Astronomical Society, The Institute of Engineering and Technology, Delphi and A Pearson Growers.