The Big Bang Fair arrives in Bristol

For the first time ever science festival Big Bang Bristol will come to the city on July 6 and 7 to inspire hundreds of students about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

The Trinity Centre will host Big Bang Bristol, and the free festival will fire students’ passion for all things STEM, and encourage students from all backgrounds to continue their interest in STEM subjects.

Running alongside the National Big Bang Fair, which attracts 70,000 people to the NEC arena in Birmingham each year, Big Bang Bristol consists of two explorable zones. The Research Zone involves scientists, engineers and mathematicians from universities, charities and the NHS, whilst the enterprise zone hosts 20 companies based in Bristol and the surrounding area, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Reinshaw, and Kinneir Dufort.

There will be three sessions for local schoolchildren as well as a public event, held between 3:00pm – 7:00pm on Thursday 6 July. The event will particularly focus on engaging young women and BAME (Black And Minority Ethnic) communities with STEM subjects and opportunities, as they are currently underrepresented in these fields.

This free event aims to demonstrate the variety and opportunities in STEM to young people, with information and advice on further study and work schemes available.

Organiser Matthew Lee, a scientist at the University of Bristol, said:

“One of the main issues in science is the lack of diversity. I decided to organise Big Bang Bristol with the specific aim of engaging underrepresented groups with the opportunities available to them in science. We have worked with a really wide range of people to deliver the fair, and have some exciting interactive stands coming.

“I’m very keen on the mixing of science and art to communicate ideas and research and show that science is as creative and imaginative as you want it to be, and we have a lot of science art pieces for people to get involved with at the fair which will give people something to think about when they go home.”

Philippa Matthews, Inclusion and Diversity Executive at the Royal Society of Chemistry, who are supporting the event said:

“The success of our community depends on our ability to nurture the talent of the best people regardless of who they are or their background. We believe that for chemistry and the chemical sciences to prosper, the discipline must attract, develop and retain a diverse community of talented people.

“To help achieve this we offer grants to support activities that promote and improve the accessibility, inclusivity and diversity of the chemical science community, such as Big Bang Bristol”

The School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol are supporting Big Bang Bristol, and a number of researchers and stands will be present showcasing the research the school does. Dr Bronwen Burton, a Senior Teaching Associate in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, said:

“We are excited to share our excitement about biomedical science with the next generation of researchers.”

Big Bang Bristol is organised by the British Science Association – Bristol and Bath Branch, and is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry, The University of Bristol School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the Biochemical Society, the University of Bristol Jean Golding Institute for Data Intensive Research, and Bristol Learning City.

Big Bang gives young people an opportunity to discover how what they learn at school is used in real life by real people, and the chance to talk to real life scientists and engineers to find out how they can get involved in science, technology, engineering and maths outside the classroom and as part of their future.

Big Bang Bristol is free to all and schools can register for the following sessions by visiting the Eventbrite page: Session 1, Thursday 6th July 10:00am-12:30pm; Session 2, Friday 7th July 9:30am-12:00pm; Session 3, Friday 7th July 1:00pm-3:30pm. The public session is on Thursday 6 July from 3:00pm to 7:00pm and is free. The Trinity Centre address is: Trinity Centre, Trinity Rd, Bristol BS2 0NW.