In Birmingham the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) came together as the Big Bang Fair.
This fair gave the opportunity to forty-one air cadets from across six squadrons in the RAF Air Cadet’s, South and East Midlands Wing, to hear from inspirational engineers and scientists. This enabled them to find out more about the opportunities available in STEM, including: virtual reality, medicine, marine biology, film and TV, space exploration, explosive chemistry, crime-solving, robots, computer coding, microscopic bugs, giant trucks and more.
The day consisted of a large range of different activities that the cadets could get involved in; ranging from finding out what roles they could do in the RAF using virtual reality to getting hands on to find out where organs are located in the human body in a full-scale jelly model. Cadet Erin Bradbery commented that she “really enjoyed the Big Bang Fair because it gave (her) the opportunity to meet scientist, engineers and do loads of activities around STEM.” Her favourite part was being able to visit the RAF stand where she met some of the engineers and technicians behind the Red Arrows team, as well as using the RAF virtual reality, which she thought was very cool.
Alongside all the activities, throughout the day there were a number of different shows the cadets could go and watch such as Deadly Diseases, The best experiment of all time… ever Invisible Worlds and Weirdology. All including STEM activities or experiments most had never seen before, such as a type of cotton wool that exploded on contact with a hot plate and just how quickly diseases can spread using a huge smoke cannon experiment!
Cadet James Olsson said “The Big Bang Fair is an amazing experience and it taught me loads about different jobs I could do. There were so many different activities to join in with and to have a go at, that I couldn’t see everything there; so, I would want to go again in the future.”