Big Bang Fair kicks off today with thousands of students expected

Posted on 13 Mar 2014 by Tim Brown

The Big Bang Fair, which aims to encourage more young people to undertake careers in science and engineering, kicks off today at Birmingham's NEC with tens of thousands of students expected to attend.

Following its hugely popular debut in the city in 2012,The Big Bang Fair returns to Birmingham for four days starting today.

From games to planes, from fashion to physics, The Fair will bring science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) alive for your students and children, putting their classroom learning in context and taking them on a journey to discover the best they can be.

Featuring explosive theatre shows and engaging, immersive activities, The Fair will also offer students the opportunity to meet some of the country’s leading scientists and engineers and to discover how school subjects can lead to fantastic, rewarding careers.

Thursday 13th and Friday 14th March are for school groups while family and community groups are welcome on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March.

Among the events sponsors are a range of defence companies and contractors including BAE Systems, Thales, Selex ES, Doosan, Rolls-Royce and Airbus. To add an element of controversy to this year’s event, a list of 126 people including many university professors and doctors has written an open letter to the Guardian suggesting that the event should not be associated with such companies.

The letter (which can be read in full here) reads: ‘The casual and unquestioned way these companies are allowed public relations space at educational events reflects a serious problem at the heart of modern British science. We need programmes which offer young people unbiased spaces to learn about science and engineering as it is currently constituted – including environmental and human rights concerns – and what it could look like… Big Bang 2014 is a slightly less dystopian vision of engineering than it has been in the past. Let’s drop the arms trade and do something truly inspirational in the future.’