The Big Bang Fair and Competition 2018

We started working with EngineeringUK back in August 2017 on a programme of campaigns which set out to inspire younger generations, demonstrate how exciting and accessible science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) can be and raise awareness of The Big Bang Fair 2018. These campaigns include the CIPR award nominated Look Up To The Stars.  

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is an annual event and is the largest celebration of STEM for young people in the UK. It celebrates and raises the profile of young people’s achievement in science and engineering, and encourages more young people to take part in STEM initiatives.

Inspiration is at the heart of The Fair, where young visitors, their teachers and parents have the chance to get hands on with engaging STEM activities, workshops and shows and discover where STEM could take them in the future.

The Fair took place at the NEC from the 14th – 17th March and what an event it was! The first day was a rather poignant one with the death of Professor Stephen Hawking being announced overnight. The NEC over the following few days was abuzz with the physicists of the future and lots of broadcast stations came down to the first day of The Fair and piggybacked onto the news asking the young people attending what his legacy would be and putting together packages surrounding this and what people were experiencing at The Fair itself. On day one of the event, we achieved coverage on both the 6pm and 10pm BBC News, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Midlands Today, BBC Radio 4, Newsround and Heart and Capital in the Midlands area. 

Across the following few days hundreds of young people were judged as part of The Big Bang Competition. The Competition is an annual contest designed to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as helping them build skills and confidence in project-based work.

Fighting off competition from over 180 young people, Emily Xu, aged 18 from London was named the GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year for her project that looked at new methods for separating different types of molecules that can be very difficult to distinguish, as they are mirror images of each other and Josh Mitchell, aged 18 from Manchester took home the UK Young Engineer of the Year award for the development of an affordable 3D printer prototype called ‘The Plybot’. The day after receiving their awards both Emily and Josh, as well as a special prize winner Baran Korkmaz, aged 15 who was the junior winner in the engineering category appeared on the sofa’s on BBC Breakfast where they discussed their winning projects. They also took part in interviews with their local media – BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio London.

Overall The Fair and Competition achieved 380 pieces of coverage (and counting) including nine nationals, 70 broadcast, 172 regionals and 52 consumer lifestyle pieces.  The client was delighted, so much so that we’re on board to look after the PR for The Big Bang Fair next year – roll on 2019!

Emily and Josh with Greg and Maddie