Thousands of youngsters attended The East Midlands Big Bang Event

More than 2,500 young people attended the annual East Midlands Big Bang Fair at the Derby College Roundhouse campus.

Pupils from schools across the region came together at the event, which encourages young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

It was the fourth time that the city has hosted the event and Derby City Council's Enterprise for Education (E4E) programme sponsored the event. Interactive activities included spring-powered super cars, robot programming and ultrasonic testing. A Derby Village area was set up at the event to enable young people to spot career opportunities in the city.

More than 50 exhibitors attended, including Rolls-Royce, the University of Derby, Up an' at 'Em History, Exotic Zoo FUZE Coding and several Derby College curriculum areas.

James Silcox, director of the Big Bang East Midlands said that the fair was "as popular as ever". He said: "Big Bang East Midlands promises to be a day of interactivity, inspiration and fun. "We're also keen to encourage schools to be part of the celebrations by running their own Big Bang @School events to help promote the careers that science and maths subjects can lead to."

E4E is sponsored the "Derby Competition", which took place at the event and saw Derby schools compete for a place in the national version of the event.

Entrants will be asked to use science, technology, engineering or maths to identify and create a product to improve an aspect of the transportation network within Derby. This can be aimed at any of the transportation manufacturing industries or infrastructure in and around Derby, including supply chain companies.

2016's winner, for the second year running, was West Park School in Spondon. The competition was just as fierce this year, with eight schools having already registered, the highest ever number. Arshad Iqbal, E4E broker, said: "To be the main sponsor for this year's Big Bang event is very exciting for the e4e team and promises to be a tremendous experience for everyone involved.

"The event is the biggest of its kind in the region and brings together a range of local and national industry players to provide 7-19 year olds with a fun and educational experience to inspire them towards careers using their science and maths subjects. Our team of staff and volunteers were on hand to provide careers advice to young people attending the event and discuss the benefits of following a career in one of the STEM industries.

"We were also available to speak with any employers who are interesting in signing-up as e4e volunteer business mentors."

Speaking about E4E's involvement in the Big Bang Fair East Midlands, Councillor Sarah Russell, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "I have worked with e4e on some of their activities across the city and I am delighted they are bringing so many employers and young people together in Derby at this year's Big Bang event.

"It's vitally important that the city's young people are aware of the many opportunities that are out there for them in the STEM industries and gain the skills they need to able to carry out these jobs."

E4E links employers with schools and students to provide them with a better understanding of career opportunities, raise aspirations, improve employability skills and provide a larger pool of home-grown talent for employers.

To find out more about STEM related study programmes, please visit
http://www.derby-college.ac.uk/careers-courses/curriculum-areas

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