Impressive inventions make a big bang

Big Bang at Parliament is back! On Monday, some of our incredible previous competitors of The Big Bang Competition attended The Houses of Parliament to showcase their STEM projects.

Students impressed MPs, parliamentarians and people from across the world of STEM with their innovative creations, from protecting the environment, supporting deaf people and even an automatic biscuit dunker!

During the event, which is supported by Siemens, we heard from Dr Hilary Leevers and Iain Conn, the Chief Executive and Chair of EngineeringUK, Ranita Ariyibi, the UK Young Engineer of the Year 2023, and MP Stephen Metcalfe, who kindly hosted the event. Other parliamentarians in attendance included Robin Walker (Chair of the Education Select Committee), Baroness Garden (Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson), Lord Clement Jones (Liberal Democrat Science, Innovation and Technology Spokesperson) and Rebecca Morrish (Policy Researcher, Office for the Leader of the Opposition).

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In her speech, Ranita Ariyibi commented “Entering The Big Bang Competition is something I genuinely couldn’t recommend more. From the process and skills learnt along the way to the judging stages and showcase at The Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, the memories of every stage I had the pleasure of experiencing will be something I truly treasure dearly as I not only continue to develop my project InterSign, but also as I go on to tackle more projects in the future.

“If you’d have asked me a month ago if I thought I’d be making a speech at Parliament I probably would have thought I was dreaming, but like many things I’ve experienced through The Big Bang Competition the unexpected typically turns out to be the good.”

Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, which organises the Big Bang programme commented: “We were delighted to once again welcome talented young students to showcase their innovative competition entries at Parliament. They all did a fantastic job of engaging with attendees and getting everyone excited about the future of STEM.

“Programmes like the Big Bang are crucial for igniting a passion for STEM among young people from all backgrounds and encouraging more of them to consider future careers in engineering and technology.”

The amazing projects on display included ‘InterSign’ interpretation device from a student at Colchester County High School for Girls, ‘Hydrogen car’ and ‘Recycling guru’ from students at Regent High School, ‘Automatic Biscuit Dunker’ from a student at Lighthouse School Leeds, and ‘Project Carbon Zero’ and ‘Making Hydrogen fuel from scrap metal’ from students from Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School.

Zoe Johns-Putra, a student from Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School, commented “It’s my first time at Parliament – I’ve spoken to so many people and had so much fun today. I’ve got so much out of The Competition – it’s made me think STEM is great and that I can do it!”

The Big Bang Competition is now open for entries! Students aged 11 to 18 from state-funded UK secondary schools are invited to enter before 27 March 2024.

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