Inspiring young engineers

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has sponsored the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people.

The Big Bang Fair 2014, which took place at the NEC Birmingham from 13-16 March, attracts tens of thousands of 4-17 year olds each year. Attendees take part in hands-on science and engineering activities, from designing a solar powered water heater to exploring radioactivity, and learning about career opportunities.

As well as sponsoring the Fair, a team from EDA, including a number of student volunteers, helped inspire future engineers with their Defeat SPECTRA exhibit. Visitors to the innovative stand had to find clues in infrared and ultraviolet light and attempt to deactivate the SPECTRA computer with microwaves and radio control ‘before an evil organisation takes over the world’.

Over the four days of the Fair, more than one thousand pupils attended EDA’s exhibit, working in groups against the clock to understand how to see in the dark, read invisible ink and look into sealed rooms. Defeat SPECTRA also includes a maze, a darkroom, a decoding station and ends with an explosion.