Big Bang Fair to celebrate and inspire UK science and engineering talent

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The science and engineering community, government departments and some of Britain’s biggest companies have announced the first UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, The Big Bang – the UK’s biggest ever science event for students and teachers.

Heralded as “an unprecedented coming together”, The Big Bang will be 2009’s focal point for science and engineering, showcasing the best the UK has to offer and inspiring future generations to get involved in a sector that is key to the UK economy. Over three days at the QEII centre in London from the 4-6 March, nearly nine thousand young people, teachers and members of the public will witness the UK’s biggest and boldest celebration of UK science and engineering. The Big Bang will demonstrate the excitement and opportunities of the sector, and encourage greater take-up of careers in science and engineering. It will feature compelling and engaging shows, workshops and presentations across the entire science and engineering spectrum; displays and demonstrations of leading-edge UK technology from sponsor companies including Shell and BAE Systems; and exhibition stands to showcase further inspirational projects. One of the highlights of The Big Bang will be the newly established National Science Competition - the UK’s most significant student competition to identify the first UK Young Scientist and UK Young Technologist of the Year. The competition is open to all 13-19 year olds including regional finalists from the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) CREST Awards, and Young Engineer for Britain Competition. A prestigious, celebrity-led awards ceremony will be the highlight of The Big Bang where the winners will be announced. Each winner will receive a personal cash prize of £5000, a once in a lifetime international science or technology trip, a trophy and opportunities to represent youth science at events across the UK and beyond over the following year. Co-patron Sir Anthony Cleaver Sir Anthony, who is also Chairman of The Engineering and Technology Board, said: “The UK economy needs a strong science and engineering sector if it is to break through recent difficulties and provide a strong basis for growth. In the global knowledge economy, those countries that have invested in science and engineering are doing well. The Big Bang will have a huge impact in attracting students from across the country to get involved in science and engineering and ensure our economic footing is strong for the future.” Dick Olver, Chairman of BAE Systems said: “Education projects are extremely important to the long-term sustainability of our business and our ability to recruit talented people. The Big Bang gives us a really exciting opportunity to work together and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists in the UK."