Young people enjoy discovering the fun behind engineering

Students together with staff from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA), recently attended The Big Bang Fair South East on 2nd July at the South of England Showground.

This was one of a series of regional Big Bangs that feed into the national Big Bang in March 2015 and gives young people the chance to experience the fun of science and engineering through a variety of exciting, hands-on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based activities. The regional Big Bang included live, interactive events that offered 2000 pupils from schools across the South East the opportunity to experience learning outside the classroom in a fun and inspirational way.

EDA took their innovative Defeat SPECTRA exhibit to the event where young people aged 7 – 17 were challenged to use the Electromagnetic Spectrum to try and crack a secret code with technology. Students found clues in infrared and ultraviolet light and attempted to deactivate the SPECTRA computer with microwaves and radio control before the evil organisation could take over the world. Pupils worked in pairs against the clock – understanding how to see in the dark, read invisible ink and look into sealed rooms. Almost half of the young people attempting the activity were girls which is encouraging as in the UK only 6% of the engineering workforce is female.

Dr John Batchelor said “It was fantastic to see so many girls and boys really enjoying themselves with technology. Events like this help to make young people and their families appreciate the great range of interesting challenges a career in engineering or science can bring”.

EDA’s outreach team looks forward to exhibiting and inspiring young engineers at the national Big Bang at the NEC, Birmingham on 11 – 14th March 2015.