Bobsleds, cornflour and colour-changing badges are among some of the ways young people at this year’s Big Bang Fair will find out about the world of engineering. Over 35,000 visitors are expected at this year’s fair, which is taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 15 to 17 March 2012.

The Academy is a partner organisation of the Big Bang Fair; the largest celebration of engineering and science in the UK. The Academy’s stand is one of many interactive activities on offer that aim to show visitors the exciting possibilities open to young people who pursue engineering, technology, science or maths.

Exploring the theme ‘engineering is…’, the Academy hopes to challenge students’ ideas on the subject through a mixture of hands-on activities and engaging demonstrations. Visitors to the Academy’s stand will discover the strange properties of cornflour, learn to fire a model bobsled and uncover the engineering behind heat sensitive paints.

The Academy will also be presenting the student winners of the Royal Academy of Engineering prize. The prize is awarded to a group or individual taking part in the National Science and Engineering Competition whose project demonstrates the best application of engineering principles.

Last year’s prize was won by Bethan Dobson, Georgina Flower, Sarah Parsons and Charlotte Porter of Rugby High School for their work on calibrating steam turbines. They will be returning to help judge this year’s contenders, who are competing for the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to London. Included in the prize is a behind-the-scenes look at how Imperial College engineers are investigating life on Mars and controlling computers with just their eyes.

Notes for editors

  1. The Royal Academy of Engineering has developed a variety of quick, easy and inexpensive activity sessions that can be used to spark inspiration and show the diversity of engineering. Featuring some of the activities that will be on show at the Big Bang Fair, these sheets can be found on the Academy website.
  2. The Royal Academy of Engineering

    Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  3. The Big Bang Fair

    Launched in 2009, The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair is the UK's biggest single celebration of science and engineering for young people and aims to celebrate and inspire them. Involving over 110 organisations from across the private, public and voluntary sectors, and reaching out to schools and students across the country, The Big Bang represents a true partnership of the UK's science and engineering communities. The event is led by EngineeringUK in partnership with the British Science Association, the Institute of Physics, the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Young Engineers.

For more information please contact

Manisha Lalloo or on 0207 766 0683.