Teachers at a Crawley school are staging their second science fair today (January 21) following the success of their first event a year ago – and they are inviting other schools to get involved.
The Big Bang @ Holy Trinity School is one of a series of ‘mini’ Big Bang events across the region leading up to the 2016 Big Bang Fair South East on June 29.
A year ago, inspired by the 2014 Big Bang Fair South East, Holy Trinity teachers organised a day-long series of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related activities for the school’s Year 7 and 8 students, supported by local organisations that included CGG, the Observatory Science Centre and FUZE.
At this year’s event, students will experience a planetarium, make electric cookie dough, experience a jelly bean wave machine, build a virtual school using Minecraft, make an LED torch and do some toy hacking – in the style of Toy Story. Over the lunch break, they will be able to explore an electric car from Tesla Motors.
More than 200 Holy Trinity students will be involved, and the organisers have also invited students from Manor Green School and three local primary schools, making as many as 100 additional visitors.
“We were so inspired by the Big Bang South East at Ardingly in 2014 that we wanted to try something ourselves,” said Holy Trinity teacher Colleen Wells. “We believe there is a lot our school and other schools can do to encourage students to engage with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and the careers that are possible.
“We were so pleased with the response from students to last year’s event that we decided to broaden the scope this year and invite other local schools to get involved.”
Big Bang South East Project Manager Jo McKinney-Green, of the University of Brighton, said: “Teachers at Holy Trinity did really well organising last year’s ‘mini’ Big Bang, and we are delighted that they are repeating the event and involving other schools.
“We were very impressed with how engaged students were and how many of them were heard describing the day as ‘the best lesson ever.’”
The 2016 Big Bang Fair South East, part of the nationwide Big Bang Near Me programme, takes place at the South of England Showground on 29th June, when 8,000 students and their teachers from across the region are expected to attend.
It is organised by STEM Sussex, the STEM outreach support department at the University of Brighton, and the headline sponsors are Crawley-based CGG, the world’s leading geophysical company.