Remember, remember, 4 November – Loughborough pupils bring The Big Bang to Parliament

Loughborough Grammar School pupils take part in The Big Bang @ Parliament as part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.

Pupils from Loughborough Grammar School taught politicians, policy-makers and the business community a thing or two with their design for an educational iPad app at The Big Bang @ Parliament on Monday 4 November.

Kicking off Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, Sean McGuire, Gareth Owen and Joe Ross-Biddles joined other young scientists and engineers from across the UK to bring to Parliament a slice of The Big Bang Fair, Europe’s largest science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) event.

Hosted by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and led by EngineeringUK, the Fair gave high-profile guests, including MP for Loughborough Nicky Morgan and Minister for Universities and Science the Rt Hon David Willetts, the chance to see pupil’s award-winning STEM projects, and experience the careers inspiration behind The Big Bang Fair on their own turf.

The Year 10 pupils, with guidance from sixth former friends, have built an app to help fellow pupils to revise. The pupils have made it through the regional heats of the National Science + Engineering Competition and will compete in the UK finals of the Competition at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair in March next year.

Pupil Sean McGuire said: “The aim of the app is to make learning more enjoyable. It’s been a lot of fun to show off all of our hard work in the Houses of Commons. It’s been good practice for talking about the project to thousands of people at The Big Bang Fair next year.”

Teacher Mrs Daljit Kaur said: “The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed today, and we’re really proud of what they’ve achieved so far. It’s been exciting and very motivating for them to have the opportunity to discuss their projects with Members of Parliament and business role models. The Big Bang adds a hands-on, practical element to what they learn in class, which is so important when it comes to influencing their career aspirations.”

Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, which leads The Big Bang Fair, said:

“We’re delighted to bring The Big Bang to Parliament today as part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. The UK needs more engineers and, to achieve this vital aim, we must excite young people about the range of great careers that science, technology, engineering and maths subjects can lead to. That’s what The Big Bang and Tomorrow’s Engineers is all about and why Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is such a valuable initiative.”

Attending the event, Minister for Universities and Science, the Rt Hon David Willetts, said:

“Despite an increase in engineering Apprenticeship starts in recent years and rising numbers of students taking GCSE triple science, we have to take action both in government and across industry to attract more young people, especially girls, into engineering careers. We should show parents and teachers that engineering is an aspiration career choice. That is the aim of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, and today’s Big Bang event has brought engineering to life for these young people and is great start to this week.”

Pupils showcased a range of exciting projects to guests, from water purification in third world countries to technological innovations, such as a transporter robot, a hovercraft and an interactive bin.

Alongside the engineers of the future, some of the UK’s leading engineering business and industry, BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty, Jaguar Land Rover and UTC Aerospace Systems, were there to help demonstrate the variety of careers that studying STEM subjects can lead to.

The Big Bang @ Parliament was part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, a collaboration between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the wider engineering community. The aim of the Week is to bring engineering to life for young people and to promote the message that engineering offers rewarding, creative and well-paid job opportunities for young men and women, in a broad range of dynamic environments like fashion, music, sport, computer gaming, construction, film special effects and environmental technology.

This year over 65,000 people attended the Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair at London’s ExCeL. The annual Fair is designed to inspire young people to pursue science or engineering careers by highlighting the exciting career possibilities that exist and the pathways into them.

The UK Fair takes place on 13-16 March 2014 at The NEC, Birmingham. For further information or to register go to www.thebigbangfair.co.uk