Crawley science fest breaks all records
A record-breaking Crawley STEMfest 2019 has ended after involving more young people than ever before.
The eighth annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) took place in schools and colleges, and in the wider community, throughout May and June following a successful launch event in April.
First held in 2012, this year's Crawley STEMfest engaged a record 30 schools in the area with a series of interactive workshops, shows, demonstrations, site visits and other hands-on activities. In addition, hundreds of young people and their parents flocked to the Memorial Gardens in May for the annual STEM in the Park event.
Highlight of the summer was the annual Big Bang Fair South East, a two-day event at the South of England Showground. This year's fair also broke all previous records with almost 13,500 young people and their teachers from across the region attending.
Over 180 local and national companies, universities, professional bodies and other organisations provided 230 different activities, many of them hands-on, for visitors to the free event.
Crawley STEMfest 2019 and the Big Bang Fair South East were organised by STEM Sussex, the STEM outreach department of the University of Brighton, in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Crawley College. Headline sponsors were Gatwick Airport Ltd.
STEM Sussex Operations Manager Jo McKinney-Green said: "Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang Fair South East have continued to go from strength to strength, and we are pleased that so many young people took part this year and demonstrated their enthusiasm for STEM subjects.
"There is a serious STEM skills gap in the Crawley area and we believe that Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang Fair South East are inspiring more and more students to consider further studies and, consequently, careers in these disciplines, helping to narrow the gap.
"Thanks to the support of all our sponsors, without whom we would not be able to stage these events, we have enjoyed another very successful summer. Planning can now begin for the 2020 event."