Students have fun with science an the Big Bang Fair

Thousands of students from across the region descended on the South of England Showground on Wednesday to enjoy one of the biggest science festivals in the South East.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 5:12 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:13 am
DM16127531a.jpg The Big Bang Fair South East. Elliott Day 15 left and Millie Brown 14 from Oathall Community College. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160630-200633008

The fifth annual Big Bang Fair South East took place on June 29 at the showground in Ardingly celebrating the world of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The festival is part of the nationwide Big Bang Near Me programme which tries to encourage schools to put more emphasis on teaching the STEM subjects.

More than 160 companies provided 200 STEM related interactive workshops, shows and demonstrations giving young people an insight into future courses and careers.

DM16127547a.jpg The Big Bang Fair South East. Children from Gossops Green Primary . Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160630-200709008

The event was open to students aged between nine and 19. There were opportunities for students to drive diggers, ride Segways and interact with snakes, eagles and even robots.

Jo McKinney-Green, project manager of Big Bang Fair, said: “Since it was first held in 2012, the Big Bang Fair South East has continued to grow, both in terms of the numbers attending and the organisations involved – an indication of its increasing importance to the young people of the region and their teachers.”

All who attended were impressed with the offering.

David Curran, head of technology and STEM coordinator at Ifield Community College in Crawley, added: “Once again, brilliant work keeping our students engaged and entertained for several hours. We all really loved the students who were exhibiting and their enthusiasm. Our goal next year is to have our students showing off what we do at ICC with STEM.”

DM16127570a.jpg The Big Bang Fair South East. Children from Chesswood Junior School and a python. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160630-200733008

Michelle Galley of STEM Sussex said: “The day was one of inspiration; inspiring young people to pursue STEM courses and careers but also the young people inspiring the providers with their enthusiasm and excitement.

“A vibrant event which supports the skills pipeline and shines the spotlight on the huge variety of potential careers.”

More than 8,000 students had the opportunity to enter the Big Bang UK Young Scientist and Engineer Competition, with the best entries representing the region in next year’s national finals.

The event was organised by STEM Sussex, an outreach department of the University of Brighton. Headline sponsors for the fifth successive year and a major activity provider was Crawley-based CGG, the world’s biggest geoscience company.

DM16127576a.jpg The Big Bang Fair South East. Meih Such left and Holly Kisby both aged 11 wearing helicopter pilot's helmets. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160630-200745008

For further information about the Big Bang Fair South East go to

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DM16127589a.jpg The Big Bang Fair South East. Windlesham House School pupils in a Gazelle helicopter. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160630-200757008

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DM16127601a.jpg The Big Bang Fair South East. Pupils from Gossops Green Primary. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160630-200819008