Big Bangs galore in Birmingham

The free-to-attend Big Bang fair has a line up designed to excite and inspire future generation of scientists and engineers

From March 13-16 2014, The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair will pitch up to the NEC, Birmingham, to host the UK’s largest celebration of science and engineering for young people. Organisers aim to welcome around 75,000 people to the event.

The Fair hosts a wide array of activities and live performances, with the first two days open to school groups and  Saturday and Sunday open to families.

This year, TV science presenter Greg Foot (BBC, Channel4, Discovery Channel) unleashes his brand new show all about the science of explosions that have shaped our modern world. The show, ‘Kaboom!’, looks at topics from the chemistry of gunpowder to the anatomy of highly explosive detonations, the dissection of an internal combustion engine to the power of the hybrid rockets that have taken us into space. Visitors can expect loud jet engines set off live on stage, cannon balls launched above their heads, towering showers of sparks and coloured flame balls.

For those with curious minds and stomachs, TV presenter Stefan Gates will be taking people on an explosive journey into the science of their lunch.There’ll be rockets, edible insects, extreme flatulence, loud explosions and visual chemistry.

In total there are more than a hundred attention-grabbing activities whereenquiring minds and adventurous personalities can bounce across the surface of Mars, build bridges out of chocolate, dive into the human body and much more.

Paul Jackson, chief executive of The Big Bang, said:“This year is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting years yet – with registration numbers at a record high. The Big Bang Fair is more than just a fun day out. It gives young people the chance to speak to leading scientists and engineers and to see for themselves the range of exciting careers that their science and maths subjects can lead to.”

The Big Bang Fair hosts the finals of the National Science + Engineering Competition where students from across the country will compete to claim one of the most prestigious science and engineering honours for young people. The ten judges attending include: Nobel Prize winner, Sir Tim Hunt; the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman; and inventor-in-residence at the Science Museum, Mark Champkins.

Fellow judge, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, presenter of ‘The Sky at Night’ said:“It’s hugely exciting to judge a competition which recognises and rewards some of the most exceptionally talented young people working on science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects. It is vital, absolutely vital, that we encourage that spark of interest in scientific disciplines – to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. The growth of these industries is hugely important for the future of our economy, and the competition is an excellent way of recognising, and nurturing new talent in these areas.

“Those visiting the Fair will have the opportunity to meet these brilliant young innovators, and perhaps be inspired to start their own projects. I am very much looking forward to being part of the judging panel who will recognise two of these amazing young people as the UK Young Scientist and Young Engineer of the Year”. 

To find out more about The Big Bang Fair, and to book your place, visit

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