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Fun and Inspiration at STEMfest 2018 launch

Fun and Inspiration at STEMfest 2018 launch

Crawley STEMfest was officially launched on Manor Royal recently with a raucous evening of comedy and inspiring talks.  Representatives from local industry and education attended the event at the new Elekta Cornerstone building on the Manor Royal Estate. An innovative space fitting for the launch of a STEMfest looking to inspire the next generation to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers through hands-on workshops, shows and demonstrations throughout May and June.

Audience members were told to ‘brace themselves, science is coming!’ and indeed it did with Helen Keen. An award winning comedy writer from Radio 4’s Uncaged Monkeys, she took attendees on a tour of the ‘Science of the Game of Thrones. Interested in how science fiction and fantasy inform real life, she hilariously discussed the genetics of dynastic families, and the potential evolution of dragon-like, fire-breathing cows!

But perhaps the best measure of the impact and success of STEMfest was the fascinating presentations from students from St Wilfrid’s Catholic College and Hazelwick School. 

The St Wilfrid’s team won the intermediate engineering category of the national Big Bang UK Scientists & Engineers Competition with their project on mind control for a smart home. Inspired by witnessing a family member experiencing immobility, the team made and programmed a headset that could be connected to devices within the home to increase independence.

The Hazelwick students, who were runners up at the Big Bang Competition, undertook a project which explored the use of drones to measure local air pollution. Crawley STEMfest highlights the STEM careers opportunities in Crawley and surrounding area.

Now in its seventh year, the STEMfest continues to surpass itself. Summarising, Manor Royal BID executive director Steve Sawyer said: "Crawley STEMfest is not a flash in the pan, it's growing, reinventing itself and it's making a difference. I am proud to be a part of it. 2018 is going biggest and the best yet."

For further information, contact STEM Sussex Operations Manager Jo Mckinney-Green, tel. 01273 641874 or email crawleystemfest@brighton.ac.uk

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