The Big Bang Fair, taking place until Sunday at the ExCeL Centre, got a surprise visit from Prime Minister, David Cameron today.
As well as the Prime Minister, Vince Cable, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills and David Willetts the Minister of Science and Universities, also attended the show.
The Prime Minister took time to visit some of the stands. Students of The Joseph Whitaker School from Nottinghamshire showed Mr Cameron the 1.8m wind tunnel they built to measure aerodynamic forces on model race cars.
Mr Willetts visited the Bloodhound SSC stand and spoke to children about the British made car that is hoping to be the first land vehicle to break the 1,000mph mark.
The event, which aims to promote STEM subjects and careers in engineering to school pupils, was attended by some of the biggest names in British industry including BAE Systems, ARM, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover.
“Science and engineering are central to economic recovery and growth and so we need to ensure there is a good supply of talented people to meet future demand”, said Vince Cable, who opened the fair this morning.
“Fairs like this one show young people, teachers and parents the vast range of exciting careers on offer, helping to create the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.”
Almost 18,000 people attended the opening day of the fair which coincides with National Apprenticeship Week 2013.
Seimens, a sponsor of the event, launched their Education Portal. The program is being rolled out to 5000 schools will allow students teachers and pupils to access a central hub of information designed to encourage manufacturing and engineering.
Seimens chief executive, Roland Aurich said: “We have launched the portal to address the chronic shortage of STEM graduates by getting to them by the age of nine and wowing them with the fantastic careers they can have in engineering.”
The program has been launched in the wake of a poll finding only a fifth of parents would encourage their child into an engineering based career, with 14% actively discouraging it.
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