Young innovators create a Big Bang at Parliament

Nov 29, 2023

Ranita Ariybi talks people through her award winning STEM project

We were delighted to see the return of our Big Bang at Parliament event this week. Secondary school students attended The Houses of Parliament to showcase STEM projects they had entered into our Big Bang Competition - which is the UK’s top annual science and engineering competition for young people.

Students impressed MPs, parliamentarians and people from across the engineering and technology community with their innovative creations – many of which address some of society’s biggest challenges.

During the event, which is supported by Siemens, speeches were given by Dr Hilary Leevers and Iain Conn, the Chief Executive and Chair of EngineeringUK, Ranita Ariyibi, the UK Young Engineer of the Year 2023, and Stephen Metcalfe, Member of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee - who kindly hosted the event. Other parliamentarians in attendance included Robin Walker (Chair of the Education Select Committee), Baroness Garden (Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson), Lord Clement Jones (Liberal Democrat Science, Innovation and Technology Spokesperson) and Rebecca Morrish (Policy Researcher, Office for the Leader of the Opposition).

In her speech, Ranita Ariyibi commented “Entering The Big Bang Competition is something I genuinely couldn’t recommend more. From the process and skills learnt along the way to the judging stages and showcase at The Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, the memories of every stage I had the pleasure of experiencing will be something I truly treasure dearly as I not only continue to develop my project InterSign, but also as I go on to tackle more projects in the future.

“If you’d have asked me a month ago if I thought I’d be making a speech at Parliament I probably would have thought I was dreaming, but like many things I’ve experienced through The Big Bang Competition the unexpected typically turns out to be the good.”

Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, which organises the Big Bang programme commented: “We were delighted to once again welcome talented young students to showcase their innovative competition entries at Parliament. They all did a fantastic job of engaging with attendees and getting everyone excited about the future of STEM.

“Programmes like the Big Bang are crucial for igniting a passion for STEM among young people from all backgrounds and encouraging more of them to consider future careers in engineering and technology.”

Projects on display included ‘InterSign’ interpretation device from a student at Colchester County High School for Girls, ‘Hydrogen car’ and ‘Recycling guru’ from students at Regent High School, ‘Automatic Biscuit Dunker’ from a student at Lighthouse School Leeds, and ‘Project Carbon Zero’ and ‘Making Hydrogen fuel from scrap metal’ from students from Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School.

Zoe Johns-Putra, a student from Queen Elizabeth’s Girls Schools, commented “It’s my first time at Parliament – I’ve spoken to so many people and had so much fun today. I’ve got so much out of The Competition – it’s made me think STEM is great and that I can do it!”

The Big Bang Competition is now open for entries for 2023/24 – students aged 11 to 18 from state-funded UK secondary schools are invited to enter. For more information visit:

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