Renamed Big Bang ‘STEAMs’ ahead for school students

Date 6.07.2021

A major three-county school students’ careers event helped more than 4,000 young people get a closer look at professions from outer space to inner Earth.

The aim of STEAM Northants 2021 – previously called Big Bang Northants and held entirely online this year due to ongoing pandemic restrictions – was to showcase to young people the array of subjects around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) and the many careers available to them.

The event was jointly funded by the University of Northampton and Aspire Higher UniConnect.

In total, 4,482 young people registered to attend the event – in addition to teachers, careers leads and parents or carers – from 20 schools across Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire plus an international school based in Malaysia.

Hosts during the week include Jon Chase (science rapper) and Atomic Tom (with live science experiments) and renowned science communicator Sarah Cosgriff. The event combined a mix of live and pre-recorded activities and the highlights included:

  • The National Space Centre: Joining us for the first time, offering a careers talk showcasing a huge range of interesting careers, and professionals, from Astrobiologists to Robotic Mission designers and with a live Q&A.
  • A Tale of Two Volcanoes: Why are the 2021 Iceland and St Vincent eruptions so different?
  • Girls on Track UK: Exhibited about careers in Formula 1 and spoke with students about whether and how the attitude toward women working in the sport in recent years.
  • Live presentation of children’s photography, in conjunction with NN Contemporary Art, a project led by UON Fine Art (MA) student Georgia Watkins.

Comments from the students who attended include:

“I truly enjoyed today’s session and it was a great experience witnessing a variety of animals. Thank you so much!”

“This is one of the best sessions I have attended. I wish it could have been longer.”

Linda Davis-Sinclair from the UON Schools Engagement team said: “After a lot of planning, and support from all our fantastic exhibitors, it was wonderful to see the students who took part have their eyes opened to STEAM. It’s a world of exciting professional options they might not have known about or thought were available to them.

“We had great attendance during the entire of the week and to read their comments after taking part in one of the activities, talks and workshops made all of the preparation so worthwhile.

“There were also development opportunities available to our own students. For instance, teaching students took part and used this as a CPD opportunity and also took some ideas back to their new roles as teachers, helping to spread the word about STEAM. We are already looking forward to STEAM 2022, so watch this space!”

For more about the event, see the official webpage.

STEAM Northants 2021 Atomic Tom and The Sense Game

Images are of Atomic Tom and The Senses Game.