Britain’s next generation of scientists and engineers recognised at The Big Bang

Posted on 9 Mar 2009 by The Manufacturer

The biggest ever celebration in the UK of young people’s achievements in science and engineering was held in London from March 3rd-6th.

Science and engineering students aged 11-19 were recognised with prizes for their achievements at ‘The Big Bang’, held at the QEII Centre, London last week.
The Big Bang, the first Young Scientists and Engineers’ Fair in the UK, hosted the biggest finals of competitions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the UK to date. The event was partly intended to inspire greater numbers of young people to study science-related subjects.
The following competition finals were held at the Fair:

• National Science Competition
• British Science Association CREST Awards
• Young Engineer for Britain
• Young Engineers National Club Awards
• Team QinetiQ Competition
• IET Faraday Engineering Challenge Final
• Senior Team Mathematics Challenge

While the two top prizes given at the event – UK Young Scientist of the Year and UK Young Technologist of the Year – were presented to individuals, many substantial prizes were also awarded to teachers, teams and clubs.

“It is it extremely encouraging to see the number of entrants that have taken part in this competition,” said Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson “I’ve seen some really exciting and innovative projects and really want to congratulate Peter Hatfield and Chris Jefferies on their success. It is great to see young scientists and engineers inspired to experiment with ideas and apply science and technology to real life scenarios. I really want to bust the myth that science is boring and geeky – it is far from it. Young scientists today will shape our future tomorrow – which is why competitions like this are so important to celebrate young British talent.”

The awards were handed out on March 5 and 6. The first, on the Thursday evening, was hosted by Kate Humble, presenter of BBC’s Springwatch. The second, on the Friday morning, saw more awards presented at the actual project stands, with the event’s ‘Punk Scientists’ acting as roving award presenters.

Sir Anthony Cleaver, Chairman of the Engineering and Technology Board and co-patron of The Big Bang, said: “The UK economy needs a strong science and engineering sector if it is to break through the current economic difficulties and provide a strong basis for growth. Seeing 200 incredible projects from across science and engineering gave all who attended The Big Bang great heart that we witnessed a defining moment, igniting interest in science and engineering for students and starting something that will continue to grow – which is why we named it The Big Bang.”

Plans are now underway for next year’s competition, when The Big Bang will be held in Manchester.
A complete list of prize winners is below and can also be found with a short highlight video of the awards ceremony and a message from the Prime Minister at: