Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK and The Big Bang Education CIC writes his last Diary entry before The Big Bang Fair 2012 swings into action.
I’m thrilled to say that we’ve reached maximum capacity on the school days for this year’s Big Bang Fair on March 15-17. We are also nearly at capacity for the family day on the Saturday, which speaks volumes about national appetite and the enthusiasm of our supporters in making the fair a flagship event for science and engineering that the public, as well as industry, really value.
When I wrote my last diary entry, we were building up to The Big Bang Lesson with Professor Brian Cox at Jodrell Bank. Thanks to our partnership with BBC Learning, which filmed the lesson as part of their Stargazing series, the lesson was watched live by over 45,000 people. And you can still catch it on the BBC’s Stargazing page online.
A video of The Big Bang Lesson can also be found on The Sun’s website and the event was covered by over 150 publications, helping us to reach a wide audience with the science and engineering careers messaging that The Big Bang is built on. It’s this excitement around The Big Bang Fair that enables us to reach many more young people teachers and parents than we could ever fit into a three-day event – no matter how big the venue.
Every year we learn more about effective ways to make the most of our concerted efforts to inspire the UK’s future scientists and engineers. More than ever, we’re creating opportunities for stakeholders to engage in our ‘year-round conversation’ with young people – enabling them to reinforce their relationship with students who are keen to meet prospective employers.
In February we launched The Big Bang Days Out with BAA, Jaguar Land Rover, Alton Towers and the Science Museum, offering young people the chance to take part in an exciting, oneoff experience day. Through media partnerships and online seeding, this extended Big Bang activity is another opportunity to promote science and engineering on a national platform.
“Ninety five per cent of 12 – 19 year olds said they learned a lot about science and engineering by coming to the fair and 77% said it had a positive effect on how they view engineering” – Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK and the Big Big CIC
The Big Bang Fair can be a formative experience for the young people who attend. Ninety five per cent of 12–19 year olds said they learned a lot about science and engineering by coming to the fair and 77% said it had a positive effect on how they view engineering.
The impact of experiencing for themselves the wonders of science and engineering cannot be paralleled, but we do want to make sure that as many young people as possible have the opportunity to benefit from the fair’s underlying careers message. One of the fair’s Careers Hub activities is ‘Whose Crew Are You?’, helping young people to see how their skills, interests and talents match up to particular careers and job roles in a variety of sectors.
This helps to give young people a tailor-made résumé and we’ve developed the activity as an app so that young people can benefit and be involved in some of the fun, even if they can’t attend this year’s event. If you know any budding scientists or engineers – or even better those who don’t yet realise they are – point them towards ‘Whose Crew Are You?’ on The Big Bang website’s careers page or Facebook.com/thebigbang4u.
It’s hard to convey the unique quality of The Big Bang Fair with words. My best advice is to come along and see it for yourself. Come as a visitor this March and make your company part of it in 2013.
You can register as a stakeholder visitor for The Big Bang Fair at [email protected] thebigbangfair.co.uk or for further information get in touch with Gemma Samlal ([email protected] engineeringuk.com) on 020 3206 0427.