Students Staff

03 December 2014

The Prince of Wales to join 1,000 young scientists at Big Bang Fair

Colchester Campus

Visitor at last year's Big Bang Fair tests a thermal imaging camera

A visitor to last year's Big Bang Fair tests a thermal imaging camera

The Prince of Wales is to join 1,000 young people exploring science and technology at the Big Bang Fair being held at the University of Essex.

The fair, organised in partnership with Engineering UK, will showcase the exciting opportunities offered by science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects) to Year 9 and 10 students from 39 schools in Essex and Suffolk.

His Royal Highness actively supports manufacturing and engineering job opportunities. During the visit he will tour demonstrations and activities organised by national and regional employers designed to open the students’ eyes to the possibilities and opportunities offered by science.

He will then participate in a special workshop aimed at bringing businesses and head teachers together to help promote engineering careers to school pupils. The Prince of Wales Engineering Workshop, run by The Prince's Trust, is an initiative created by His Royal Highness to raise the profile of engineering in schools, and launched earlier this year in conjunction with Engineering UK, The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Prince’s Trust, Teach First and Business in the Community. The Workshop will give head teachers the chance to hear from regional and national businesses about the skills they need, and to discuss ways of advancing engineering in schools.

Big Bang is the UK’s largest celebration of STEM subjects for young people in the UK, and the regional event at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus takes place on Tuesday 16 December.

The University of Essex’s excellence in science research will be on display with a computer game set in a brain under the siege of Alzheimer’s disease, and cow-tracking technology showing how maths can help improve dairy cow welfare. The University’s nursing education team will also demonstrate how to measure physical health, with blood pressure, pulse and respiration checks.

Inspiring activities and demonstrations also include a robotic arm programmed using Raspberry Pi microcomputers, a giant pyramid puzzle allowing students to experience the different senses and how dysfunction of one or more can inhibit daily life, and measuring students’ brain activity through placing electrodes on the scalp.

Leading employers including BT, Network Rail, Royal Navy, Selex, BSkyB, and Essex County Council will be present.

Karen Gooch, Placements Manager for the Faculty of Science and Health at the University, said: “This is a fantastic occasion to bring employers and young people together to inspire the students about the exciting opportunities offered by science and technology. The Prince of Wales’ visit will reinforce the importance of engaging young people and their schools with businesses who want to see a growth in science and engineering skills in order to prosper.”

University of Essex Student Ambassadors will also support the school pupils throughout the day.

Note to editors
The Big Bang Fair takes place at the University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ, on Tuesday 16 December from 9.30am-2.30pm.
There will be a Royal Rota in operation to cover the visit by The Prince of Wales. Journalists who wish to be accredited should apply through the normal channels.

For more information about the event, please contact Jenny Grinter, Head of Communications at the University, on 01206 873168, email: Photos from last year’s Big Bang Fair at the University are available on our Flickr pages.

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