EDA’s Big Bang Fair stand attracts 900 young people

Nearly 900 young people learnt about digital manufacturing at the School of Engineering and Digital Arts’ stand at the national Big Bang Fair, which ran from 15-18 March.

Featuring an interactive attraction known as Grimshaw’s Gadget Mill, the Kent stand at the annual Birmingham NEC event provided an opportunity to gain hands-on experience printing wireless electronics made with conducting inks.

The brainchild of John Batchelor, Professor of Antenna Technology, the stand featured a steam powered gadget factory which was under attack from two gremlins called Glitch and Bug.

Young people from years one to 13 were invited to use state-of-the-art printed electronics and manufacturing skills to cast out the mischievous gremlins and upgrade the out-of-date Grimshaw’s factory.

They were able to employ their design skills to create their own personalised Radio Frequency Identification tags, which they could then keep.

Professor Batchelor described the 2017 Fair as one of Kent’s most successful yet. The team was also delighted that so many young people had taken the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in learning about modern digital manufacturing, design testing and wireless electronics.

Grimshaw’s Gadget Mill was funded by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Big Bang Fair UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair event is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.