The Big Bang team are very excited to anounce that we are having our frist event at Weston-super-Mare.
Madeleine and David Spears have created a large interactive fair that hopes to raise the expectations and aspirations of young people by encouraging them to study STEM subjects.
There are a series of Zones in the Festival together with competitions, shows and talks. The list below gives a broad idea of what we are getting together. All those taking part are asked to organise hands on activities to provide interest and some idea of the skills that are required in their industry or organisation.
This will contain the microscopic exhibition “Beyond the Naked Eye” and a hands-on video macro and microscope sessions for children who will be invited to bring their own bugs, Zeiss has already agreed to provide a hands-on experience. Nikon microscopy, Leica, Hitachi and other manufacturers will feature, and the Royal Microscopical Society, Natural History Museum and the Quekett microscope Club will also provide activities for young people to experience the use of microscopes in different spheres.
Aircraft, Cars, Construction, Power Generation Electronics and Robots
We feature exhibits and activities from EDF, the MOD Abbots Wood, Leonardo and the local University departments. A helicopter cockpit will be there as will be several robots. The local Institute of Mechanical Engineers is supporting the project The Institute of Physics is a regular exhibitor at science festivals; they will be invited to provide some hands–on excitement – perhaps the bang in Big Bang.
From Agrochemicals to Fireworks
There will be talks and demonstrations of the chemistry of pyrotechnics The areas to be explored will include agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. We hope to have a talk and demonstration of the Graphene story and one on DNA and how it works. Forensic science and the tools now used in criminology will be explained including gel electrophoresis and techniques used in DNA identification.
It’s a Natural World
This will have exhibits from local farms and involve the NFU. A section on current ideas on soil science will explain the importance of conserving soil structure and the flora and fauna that maintains soil productivity. An overview of the plants and animals which could be found at different soil levels will be presented. Forestry and the care and maintenance of productive woodland will feature, pointing out the important ecology of woodland. An exhibition of botanical illustration with hands-on experiences of plants will be included. The Met Office has been asked to explain forecasting and climate, and we hope to have a talk about the Hubble Space Telescope.
Health and Medicine
This will be feature advances in medical science, the tools used in diagnosis and modern therapeutics. Health, sports science, fitness and diet will feature with emphasis on sugar, fat, alcohol and smoking risks. Modern advances in dentistry and ophthalmology will be explored.
The Media Marquee
This will feature stands from television programme makers, showing the process from inception, research, writing, recce, shooting and post production with emphasis on the technology side of production. Talks from producers, cameramen, editors, composers, and animation and animatronics experts will feature. A talk is booked about reporting science on television news. There will be an exhibition of equipment used in the early days of Natural History television production and possibly hands on experience of making a simple animated film and the calculations required to get movement to look realistic.
Down to Earth
There will be exhibits from amateur geology groups, petrochemical and mining companies, museums and university research departments. The use of aircraft and drones to explore both geology and archaeology will also share this area. Examples of LIDAR imaging will show discoveries of archaeological importance. There will be talks with demonstrations of excavations made in the West Country and discussions about how to age artefacts found in excavations.
This zone will be an area where young people will be able to explore the complexity of moving goods around the country, Europe and the World so that we form an integral part of the local national and world economy. They will be given the opportunity to show their mathematical abilities and discover the range of occupations that need maths as a basic skill. GWR, the army and/or navy, local firms whose whole basis is dependent on logistics are being invited to participate.
Farm to Fork
The science and engineering behind these industries help to maintain their position in the market. Understanding environmentally sensitive production methods are essential in sustaining their viability. The food and drinks industry is a thriving industry in the South West. From apple juice to yoghurt; cheese to beef; herbs to milk, the range and volume of food and drink production is expanding. This zone introduces young people to this vibrant sector and challenges them to find solutions to problems that can be encountered such as bacterial contamination of food; safe storage and developing new products.
Computing and Mathematics
Young people are familiar with a wide range of computer devices, but the next generation need to have the skills of programming and understanding the limitations and scope of computers, artificial intelligence and robots. We will also get the army or local hauliers to have activities which depend on ability in working with mathematics. Accountancy, statisticians and financial institutions will also feature.
A central area will be devoted to careers with experts helping people to decide on ways in which to further their learning and career experiences and to enable them to follow opportunities in the STEM areas.
An area will be set aside for the competitions for both Primary and Secondary pupils. These need to be separately registered.
The Lecture Theatre will be holding live lectures, films and Power Point talks. Some sessions will engage audiences in topical science and engineering concepts. These will include cutting edge and important new advances. Examples include the new work on antibiotics and ways to combat the rise of resistance in pathogenic micro-organisms. Obviously a discussion on global warming and its causes may feature.
Several speakers have already agreed to provide talks.
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