The Big Bang Fair returns to inspire the next generation into STEM careers

Jan 31, 2024

Young people excited and engaged at a stand on the showfloor of The Big Bang Fair

The popular Big Bang Fair - the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people - is set to return this summer.

The annual Fair, which is run by EngineeringUK, is designed to ignite a passion for STEM and showcase the exciting career possibilities in these sectors. Taking place from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 June 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham, The Fair will welcome students aged 10 to 13 from across the UK. From today, schools and home educators can register for free tickets to attend.

A diverse range of employers will come together at The 2024 Fair to bring engineering and tech careers to life – from the aerospace, rail and automotive industries to energy, healthcare and more. This gives young people the opportunity to meet STEM professionals, as well as join exciting live shows and inspiring career panels. There will also be plenty of hands-on activities to get stuck into, including testing their driving skills by putting powerful robots through a series of challenges, experiencing piloting a submarine, discovering how different materials are used in sports and space exploration and much more.  

Given the UK’s acute skills shortage and ambitions to meet net zero by 2050, we urgently need more young people to progress into engineering and technology. STEM engagement activities such as this are vital for developing their awareness and interest in these careers - helping the sector to secure a skilled and diverse future workforce.

Phillip McShane, Associate Director - Big Bang Programme at EngineeringUK, commented: “We’re on a mission to drive change so that more young people choose engineering and technology careers. We know that taking part in STEM outreach activities from an early age plays a vital role in changing the perceptions and attitudes students feel towards careers in the sector. The Big Bang Fair is a brilliant opportunity for employers and professional engineering institutions to help ignite a passion for STEM and inspire young people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in their sectors.”  

Almost 16,000 young people attended The Fair last year, along with 2,300 teachers. A student who attended commented “I really enjoyed the variety of activities that have been present during The Big Bang Fair. They have all opened up a wider insight into the industry of engineering and how much passion people have for their careers.”

Also taking place at The Fair, will be the awards ceremony for the popular Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition. Winners will be announced, including the crowning of the prestigious Big Bang UK Young Engineer, UK Young Scientist and UK Young Technologist of the Year, supported by Siemens.

The Competition, which is free to enter, is open to young people in the UK aged 11 to 18 in state funded education, who are home educated or who enter as part of a community group. There’s still time for young people to get involved – with The Competition open for entries until 27 March.

With tickets for The Big Bang Fair always booking up quickly – schools are advised to book their free tickets early, to avoid disappointment.

To find out more about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities for The Big Bang Fair 2024 and The Big Bang Competition – email [email protected]

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