Big Bang Fair to receive top engineering public engagement award
The UK's largest young people's science and engineering fair is to receive special recognition for its work in promoting engineering.
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair – at which the Institution had a presence in 2011 – is to be awarded the 2012 Rooke Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of its success in communicating the excitement of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to young people and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Three individuals will receive the Rooke Medal on behalf of the Big Bang fair at the Academy's annual awards dinner at the Royal Opera House on 26 June 2012: Founding Chair, Sir Anthony Cleaver HonFREng, Paul Jackson, CEO of Engineering UK, and Event Director Jeremy Buckle.
Nominating the fair for the award, Robert Kirby-Harris, Secretary General at the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) said: "The Big Bang has fostered strong links between industry, education professionals and the public sector to the extent that it has reached long-term sustainability and has built brand awareness on a national and regional political and media scale. It is also in the process of transforming through its physical, web and media presence in to a full year, pan-UK operation."
The Times reported that the fair gave the teaching of science and engineering "a welcome jolt of energy," while BBC Breakfast said: "When you come to a fun place like this you start to realise all the fun things you can do with science."
Delivered by over 170 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, The Big Bang Fair is led by Engineering UK in partnership with the British Science Association, the Institute of Physics, the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Young Engineers. It is supported by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as well as industry sponsors.
Previous winners of the Rooke Medal include computer science champion Professor Chris Bishop FREng FRSE, the team behind Walking with Robots, children's TV star Dr Johnny Ball and the man who 'propped up' the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Professor John Burland FREng, FIStructE.