Schools Across Kent Enjoy Big Bang Education Event

Posted on 18/03/16

Students from schools across Kent found out from the experts just how fun science, technology, engineering and maths can be – at this year’s Kent’s Big Bang event at Discovery Park.

The day-long education event organised by Kent and Medway STEM, part of Canterbury Christ Church University took place on Friday, 18 March with the aim of inspiring a love of STEM subjects.

It included interactive exhibits and workshops and talks run by local companies and organisations, many of whom are working on the development of new drugs and treatments at Discovery Park.

Around 1,000 young scientists enjoyed the day’s activities, which included entering the world of crime scene investigation and learning to see in the dark (while defeating the evil SPECTRA organisation).

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 reconsider pre-conceived ideas of STEM subjects.

Other challenges included the art of making their own toothpaste or comet; building rollercoasters with the aid of a packet of Maltesers and an Easter related chromosome Guess Who.

Helen Ward, Director Kent and Medway STEM, said:

“Big Bang provides an opportunity for students to experience the role STEM plays in the economy. It is wonderful to have this opportunity for students from all over the region to meet people for whom STEM is not just a job, it is their passion.

“The take up of STEM subjects still could do with improvement, for example in attracting more girls into engineering, but thanks to events like this, it is heading in the right direction

“It is important for young people to see it is not all guys in white coats with scary hair. What’s great about this event and it’s the venue Discovery Park, is that they can see where their career might lead.”

Kimberley Anderson, Corporate Relations Manager for Discovery Park, said:

“At Discovery Park 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. It was a delight to watch the success of the Big Bang held at Discovery Park last year. The reactions from students said it all. We thank tenants and other companies for getting involved.”

Those hosting exhibits and workshops included Pfizer, AlgaeCytes, Amey, BioProNet, Kreston Reeves, EDF Energy, the University of Kent, the University of Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church University, BAE Systems, Mylan, The Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Hannah Collins, 16, from Westgate, and studying a BTEC in Applied Science with East Kent College, which has offices and a lab on site, said:

“It’s great to be showing our experiments to the school children, and hopefully helping to inspire a future generation of scientists.

“This event is great, as a lot of the pupils have told us they haven’t made up their minds on whether to take science in the future or not. It’s giving them a wonderful opportunity to see what’s on offer if they do decide to continue studying science.

Abby Taylor, 19, from Broadstairs, and studying a BTEC in Applied Science said:

“It’s been a really good opportunity to show all of the different pathways that science students can take, with loads of employers here to show where a career in science can take students.

“Discovery Park is also the perfect place to hold this event as it’s an amazing facility. We’ve got world class laboratory facilities here, and it’s such an inspirational site for any young student who’s interested in science.”

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