Big Bang launches digital event for young people

13th July 2020
Posted By : Lanna Deamer
Big Bang launches digital event for young people

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on everyone and for young people, up and down the country who have had their school life completely turned upside down by the pandemic. In fact, recent research reveals almost nine in ten young people do not think scientists (89%) or politicians (92%) are talking to them when discussing COVID-19.

With this in mind, The Big Bang is launching a one-day event, to help them find out more about how scientists and engineers have been and continue to be vital in the fight against the disease and in keeping essential services and supplies available

The Big Bang Digital 2020 online event will be taking an inspirational and uplifting look at the essential role of science and engineering in a pandemic for young people (11+). There will be an opportunity to listen and chat to scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians and other students who have been doing incredible things during lockdown.

Highlights include a talk by environmental charity, Plastic Oceans UK, featuring content from Sir David Attenborough. Ask the Experts is a chance for young people to put their coronavirus questions to scientists including Sir Jeremy Farrar and Nobel Prize winner and director of the Crick Institute, Sir Paul Nurse. Or join the GSK workshop to find out more about their work in finding a vaccine. 

And there’s also a lot of fun planned throughout the day including BBC’s Gastronaut Stefan Gates. Stefan and his daughter Poppy will be embarking on a stunning scientific adventure through the colours of the rainbow in a show called Explosion of colour. Dedicated to all the key workers who have worked so hard through this pandemic, the show is packed with spectacular, colourful and explosive science demos. 

The free online event will kick off from 10am on Tuesday 14th July and will be hosted be TV & Radio’s Science presenter, podcaster and YouTuber Greg Foot. He will be hosting live, exploring the topic with a range of guests, putting audience questions to the experts and bringing his usual energy and enthusiasm to the day.

“I’m so looking forward to speaking to not just the scientists and engineers who have been doing brilliant things to help protect us during the pandemic - from caring for patients, to finding new ways to developing PPE to building hospitals in record time - but also the often under-appreciated people on the frontline of COVID-19 who have kept the country going, getting food onto our shelves and keeping our taps running. It’s going to be a fascinating day and a rare opportunity for you to put your questions - LIVE - to leading experts across all areas of STEM,” said Foot.

Throughout the day, tune into the following sessions. Each will vary in length and many will be followed by a live Q&A. And if you can’t tune in live sessions will be made available to watch later here. A BSL interpreter will also be available on demand for all of the content.

  • 10am: Greg Foot opens the show
  • 10:05am: On the frontline: NHS workers tackling coronavirus 
  • 10:25am: Ask the experts: your questions about the virus to Sir Jeremy Farrar and Sir Paul Nurse
  • 10:50am: GSK: The worldwide race to develop a vaccine
  • 11:10am: Young talent against COVID-19: Presenter Fayon Dixon in conversation with inspiring young people, all Big Bang Competition winners, talking about their role in the pandemic response
  • 11:20am: Stepping up to the PPE challenge
  • 11:40am: Don’t stand too close to me: designing a social distancing lanyard
  • 12:25pm: Royal Academy of Engineering: Designing a low-cost ventilator
  • 12:50pm: NHS Nightingale: building a hospital in nine days
  • 13:10pm: Network Rail: Staying on track: keeping the railway moving
  • 13:25pm: Cyber First: Staying smart and safe when everything is online
  • 13:40pm: Plastic Oceans UK: New habits to protect the planet: the environmental impact of staying at home
  • 14:10pm: Environment Agency: Rebuilding a greener future
  • 14:30pm: Thames Water: Keeping the water flowing
  • 14:45pm: Harper Adams University: Feeding the nation
  • 15:10pm: BBC Gastronaut Stefan Gates: Explosion of colour - a Gastronaut adventure

Commenting on the event Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK, which organises the event, said:  “The Big Bang Fair was cancelled this year because of this pandemic, so it’s only fitting that we’re now giving young people the chance to explore the science and engineering behind the country’s response to COVID-19. 

“We’re really excited to be providing real insight into how people behind the scenes have been working and innovating both to combat the virus and to support the country in adapting to lockdown. More importantly, Big Bang Digital gives young people the chance to share their views and ask their questions, providing them with a platform and a unique opportunity to be part of the debate.

“We hope Big Bang Digital will help inform young people about the virus that has caused so much disruption in recent months and inspire them to consider where the subjects they’re studying could lead them in the future.”

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said: “The Big Bang Digital event will give young people an inspiring insight into the wide range of STEM careers available and the amazing work that scientists, engineers, healthcare professionals, and manufacturers have been doing on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. This government is committed to increasing access to STEM. That’s why over the next few years, we’ll be rolling out T Levels - an exciting new qualification equivalent to three A-Levels, in subjects ranging from Digital to Science and Engineering, that could see young people working with virtual reality, or using the latest equipment in laboratories. 

“It is so important for students to find out about the huge variety of interesting and valuable jobs that are out there. I hope this event sparks an interest which could go on to inspire an exciting career. I’d encourage all young people and teachers to get involved and find out more about the wide range of exciting opportunities on offer.”

To watch, learn about and celebrate the incredible contribution of scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians and students in responding to the pandemic at Big Bang Digital 2020 - science, engineering & COVID-19, please click here on Tuesday 14th July, from 10am.

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