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Royal Academy of Engineering gives Rooke Medal to Big Bang

ICE has welcomed the special ­recognition given to the Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair - the largest single celebration of science and engineering for young people in the UK.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded the 2012 Rooke Medal to the Big Bang Fair 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. The event is supported by the ICE.

ICE Director General Nick Baveystock said it was right that the fair had been recognised for its importance in promoting engineering to receptive youngsters. “These children are at an age where they can still choose the STEM subjects that provide a path to engineering careers. Our profession carries the ability to change the world and we need to get that across to children at an early stage.”

Tallest tower

Baveystock, who attended this year’s fair and worked with students on the ICE’s “Tallest Tower” challenge, added that the fair is not just for young people.

“It also plays a crucial role in communicating with teachers, ­career advisors and parents - these are the people who will be in influencing young people ­outside of the fair,” he said.

Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK which leads the Big Bang fair said: “It’s great to be recognised by the Royal Academy for the work we’ve been doing. The team at EngineeringUK has developed new ways to work with a wide collaboration of business and industry, government, education and the wider STEM community.

It shows how much can be achieved when we work together to reach out to the next generation of scientists and engineers.

“Since its first pilot event in 2009, the Big Bang Fair has ­increased attendance from 6,500 to 56,000 - a rate of growth quicker than the Glastonbury music festival. The fact that a careers fair can attract atten dance larger than most Premier League crowds is testament to the fair’s ability to capture public ­imagination with science, technology, ­engineering and mathematics and the ­rewarding careers available in these fields.”

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