The South West Big Bang Fair certainly lived up to its name, being loud, lively and exciting! Over 1000 students from 60 different schools attended this celebration of science and engineering at Exeter University on June 21st 2011.
The event, organised by Devon EBP, showcased the best STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) projects from across the region and gave pupils the chance to have a go at a huge range of science & technology activities, be inspired about future careers and see some super science shows.
With over 200 competitors presenting projects, all of a very high standard, competition was fierce for the various Awards being presented (including CREST and the National Science & Engineering Competition). IOP Members Dr Sharon Jewell and Jeremy Woodward had the difficult task of trying to pick a winner for the ‘Best Physics Project’, sponsored by IOP-SW. After much deliberation the judges chose “A Load of Hot Air“, by a team of 4 from Maiden Beech Middle School in Somerset. Their project ~ all about finding the best insulation for a house ~ displayed excellent application of physics principles, some really creative experimentation and was presented with lots and lots of enthusiasm!
Over in the exhibition hall a team of keen volunteers entertained more than 300 visitors to the IOP stand with various hands-on physics activities. Fittingly for the ‘Big Bang’ event, visitors could create their own Particle Collision mobile, inspired by the atom-smashing which goes on at the Large Hadron Collider. Other bangs were being made by the brave people who attempted to kebab a balloon or blow up marshmallows in a vacuum. Many were pleasantly surprised to find out they could do both successfully and also, as one student said, “make science pretty” with their colourful & creative particle collisions…
For more details of the event and the full list of Award winners, see Devon EBP’s blog post here: www.devonebp.org.uk/DEBP-blog/28/97/Devon-makes-science-go-with-a-BANG
(Images courtesy of Careers SW & Alison Rivett, IOP)