The Big Bang Fair breaks records in 2014


The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair welcomed record numbers to Birmingham’s NEC on 13-16 March 2014. Over 75,000 visitors, including more than 70,000 young people, teachers and parents, attended the fair to see science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) brought to life.

Over 200 organisations from across government, business and industry, education, professional bodies and charities came together to inspire the UK’s future scientists and engineers.

Opening the fair, Education Minister, the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, said: “The range of high-profile employers present at the fair – including GCHQ, Siemens and Rolls-Royce – show the careers these subjects can open up. Maths commands the highest earnings in the jobs market and roles in technology and science are paid 20% more than other jobs.”

Visitors took part in hundreds of shows and activities designed to show young people where their science and maths subjects can take them, from bouncing across the surface of the moon to exploring the insides of the human body and witnessing a robot solve a Rubik’s Cube at a record-breaking speed. Hundreds of scientists and engineers from businesses and universities were on-hand to share their experiences and advice about the exciting career opportunities open to young people.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, which leads the fair, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the fair. The Big Bang Fair is so much more than a great day out – it’s having a real impact. Early evaluation findings for the fair show that over half the key age group of 11-14 year-olds learnt a lot, two thirds of young attendees took the opportunity to speak to someone about careers, and more than seven out of ten knew where to go next for more information. The desirability of a career in engineering among the 11-14 year-olds who visited the fair is 55% higher than the national average.

“At its core, The Big Bang Fair is all about the STEM community working together and encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers, and these early results show the extent to which we are doing just that.”

The Finals of the National Science & Engineering Competition took place at the fair, culminating in an award ceremony on the Friday. Rebecca Simpson, from Dame Alice Owen’s School in Hertfordshire, was awarded UK Young Engineer of the Year for creating an arcade game to help young people to revise STEM subjects. Twin sisters Ameeta and Aneeta Kumar, from the Abbey School in Reading, became the UK Young Scientists of the Year after impressing judges with their project to develop an early diagnostic tool for cancer.

Business Minister Vince Cable MP, Education Minister Elizabeth Truss MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education Liam Byrne MP and Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood and Shadow Exchequer Secretary Shabana Mahmood MP were among a number of parliamentarians who attended the fair.

Visiting the fair for the third time, the Rt Hon Vince Cable MP said: “The fair is enormously important for the country. We desperately need more highly-motivated young people with maths, physics and other sciences, because we’re short of them and short of engineers and scientists.”

The Big Bang Fair will return to the NEC in Birmingham in March 2015. There are a number of ways to get involved. For information about supporting the fair, email Andrew Grazebrook:

The call for activities is now open and can be found at