My experience of The Big Bang Competition

By Bethan Padbury, Event Executive at EngineeringUK

In 2018, I had the experience of competing in The Big Bang Competition finals and I won the Senior Engineering category. In February this year, I joined EngineeringUK as an Event Executive in the Big Bang Team and this is an exciting opportunity to gain experience in digital and face to face events.

Whilst completing my gold CREST Award, I found The Big Bang Competition because of my A Level chemistry teacher. She suggested I should enter the Competition as a goal and a checkpoint to reach in the development of my project. It’s safe to say I’m very happy she did!

If I was to explain my experience of the Competition in 3 words, firstly I’d say exciting. It’s natural to be a little nervous about judging, I know I was but whenever I get those butterflies in my stomach, I tell myself I’m excited. It works for me and that’s something I still use now. The second word I’d choose is opportunity. The Competition is a chance to explain your work to others and engage with people who are experts in their field, it’s not something that happens everyday. That leads me onto my final word… proud. When I was presenting my project, I felt proud of all that I had achieved in my project and let my passion shine through.

The Big Bang Competition helped me find my confidence in ways that I didn’t get from school. I felt like I could succeed in bringing my ideas to life and making something that before only existed in my head. I found out I could stand in a room of industry professionals and explain my work to them. The Competition made me feel strong and capable and I could see myself with a role in STEM in the future.

I would encourage anyone wanting to enter the Competition to push yourself to be creative in STEM. Think big and explore new ideas because having a project means you can ask questions and challenge yourself to find the answers (but it’s okay if you don’t find them). The Competition is a way of sharing what you’ve done and having the opportunity to show everyone the scientist or engineer you are!

Within STEM, someone who really inspired me was my A Level physics teacher Miss Key, I loved learning physics from her. University was the right pathway for me and she helped me realise I was capable of achieving a degree in Physics. I’m happy to say that I’m really enjoying my journey to getting my Master’s in Physics.

Right now, I’m working in the Big Bang Team at EngineeringUK so I can confidently say I wouldn’t be where I am without the competition. This year I am working on both The Big Bang Fair and Big Bang Competition which is an incredible opportunity to be a part of. I am thrilled to be involved in another young person's journey through the Competition and help others to have an amazing experience like I did.

In the future, I will be completing my final year at university where I plan to keep gaining experience in a range of disciplines and challenge myself with my final year project. I continue to be inspired my scientists’ and engineers’ new adventures in the STEM world and after I graduate I hope to be a part of them! I wish good luck to all the competitors taking part in this year’s Big Bang Competition and look forward to seeing you all at the Fair!

Bethan Project CASTIC
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