The Big Bang

The Big Bang programme brings classroom learning to life for young people, celebrating their achievements and inspiring them to consider a future in STEM. It comprises The Big Bang Fair, The Big Bang Competition and Big Bang Near Me.

The Big Bang Fair

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for 7 to 19 year olds made possible thanks to the collaborative efforts and support of over 100 organisations.

A unique, award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive exhibits and careers information, The Fair takes place at the NEC, Birmingham each March. It brings classroom learning to life for young people, allows them to meet hundreds of scientists and engineers, to get hands-on with science and engineering and shows them where their STEM studies might lead in the future.

The Fair is free for schools and families to attend and regularly attracts 80,000 visitors and significant national media coverage.

Visit The Big Bang Fair website

The Big Bang Competition

The Fair hosts the finals of The Big Bang Competition, which recognises and rewards young people’s science and engineering project work and identifies the UK Young Engineer and GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year.

From a low-cost, flat-pack 3D printer; an app that helps people escape safely from fires to an investigation into new ways of separating ‘Mirror Image Molecules’, the science and engineering work carried out by these young people is quite simply awe-inspiring.

Previous winners have gone on to represent the UK in international competitions; to study STEM at the highest levels; to work in some of our biggest engineering companies; and to set up their own businesses.

Visit The Big Bang Competition website

Big Bang Near Me

With events taking place from as far north as the Isle of Skye, to Plymouth in the south, the Big Bang Near Me is a complementary programme involving some 900 organisations, that extends the reach of The Big Bang across the UK.

Using a framework that’s flexible to suit local needs, the Big Bang Near Me comprises regional events attracting up to 10,000 visitors and local Fairs welcoming around 2,000.

Teachers use the Big Bang @ School programme for single year groups, whole school events or as a way to engage their local community, including pupils from other schools and their families.

The Big Bang Near Me programme reaches over 170,000 young people each year.

Visit the Big Bang Near Me website

What people are saying about the Fair

Of course, what people say about us is more important that what we say about ourselves. And, it’s all good. The Big Bang Fair 2018 saw nearly 80,000 students, teachers and parents attend.

Visitors of all ages had a great time:

  • 85% of 11-14 year-olds learnt a lot.
  • 97% of students found the careers information they received useful.
  • 82% of teachers and 88% of parents thought a career in engineering to be desirable for their students or children after attending The Fair.

The vital careers messaging of The Fair has engaged the support of influential supporters, with visitors including Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clarke and then Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Fair has also captured the imaginations of the media, achieving around 2,000 pieces of coverage from national broadcast and print to regional broadcast, print and trade media, delivering our core STEM careers messages to an even larger audience. Broadcast coverage included BBC Breakfast, BBC News, ITV News, BBC Midlands Today and Radio 5 Live as well as lots of regional radio.

"The Big Bang Fair is a really great place to get schools and companies together to show how interesting science and engineering can be, and show what opportunities are out there in the future for everyone."

Blossom Hill, BAE Systems

"The Big Bang Fair is really impressive, there's lots to see, lots to learn and lots to think about as to what to do when I'm older."

Matthew, visitor

"We're really trying to promote STEM and get our students enthusiastic about it. We're hoping they have a really fun day and that they are inspired to learn more and hopefully to take on science or engineering at A level and go on to study at university."

Dr Stephanie Scott, teacher