Young entrepreneurs start with a Big Bang
- By Matthew Llewellyn -
- Oct 03, 2012
In this guest blog, Matthew Llewellyn talks about his experience of just one of the initiatives encouraging creativity and entrepreneurial innovation in young people through science.
The theory goes it started with a ‘Big Bang', but I don’t know much about that. I do however have first hand experience of a Big Bang full of explosions in creativity and entrepreneurial innovation! I’m not talking about the creation of the Universe, but I may talking about a level of creativity that might indeed take us ‘Where no (wo)man has ever gone before’ (these young people are clearly going somewhere…).
I want to tell you about The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair
Each year, 12 regional fairs are held across the UK, some seeing over 60,000 visitors. The fairs invite entrants and visitors to discover amazing demonstrations and inventions. The Big Bang is also host and stage for ‘The National Science + Engineering Competition’ (NSEC), where entrants compete for over 30 prizes and international experiences worth over £50,000!
Big Bang stirs up a whole raft of excitement in STEM based subjects (Science Technology, Engineering & Maths). The STEM organisation supports the Big Bang and volunteers share in buzz of learning through fun.
STEM ambassadors are lucky enough to judge the wonderful inventions and solutions entered into the NSEC. I’m fortunate enough to be a STEM ambassador and each year look forward to meeting fascinating inventors and entrepreneurs of all ages.
Some of the fantastic entries and demonstrations that I’ve seen over the last two years include:
- Energy producing revolving door
- Baby contraction monitor
- Baby laser breathing spectrum analyser
- An energy efficient home
- Smart TV hardware tester
- Photochromotic Windscreen project
- Peak recorder in Heat Exchanger Fin
- ‘Mind’-operated remote control helicopter
- Robots ‘pretty much doing everything that you would expect them to do and more!’
Julian’s love of science fiction accompanies my own and coincidentally this years BB was about the Digital ‘Space’ Age (Julian’s interested in mining Asteroids using robots (I kid you not)). Apart from it being a cool idea, perhaps if we can mine dead asteroids then this ‘diamond’ that we live on may just stay shiny - AKA inhabitable? Hmmm.
As soon as the day started, it finished, with organisers hurrying to ensure that score cards were handed in so that a strict vetting process could begin. It’s a tense 90 minutes wait for those being judged and there were lots of people of all ages pacing up and down corridors, or generally tearing around having fun!
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