The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair received the 2012 Rooke Medal at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s annual awards dinner last night.
The Rooke Medal is awarded by the Royal Academy to an individual, small team or organisation who has contributed to the academy’s aims and work through their initiative in promoting engineering to the public.
The Big Bang Fair was nominated for the award by Robert Kirby-Harris, Secretary General at the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and selected by the academy 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.
Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, which leads the 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.
“The fair is fast establishing itself as the biggest youth event in the country, showing just how much can be achieved when we work together to reach out to the next generation of scientists and engineers. The support of the members of the Institution of Engineering and Technology plays a key role in this success,” he said.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Maintaining a stream of talented scientists and engineers is vital to our economy and society. It’s excellent that the Big Bang Fair has been recognised for its work to engage and inspire the next generation, which I saw first-hand when I attended last year.”
The Big Bang Fair exists to inspire the UK’s future scientists and engineers. It takes place annually to celebrate young people’s achievement in science and engineering, and aims to encourage more young people to take part in science, technology, engineering and maths initiatives, with support from their parents and teachers. Over 56,000 people visited the fair at The NEC, Birmingham, in 2012, almost doubling 2011 numbers and demonstrating tremendous growth since its inaugural event in 2009.