ICE visits schools in London and South East with a Big Bang!

Volunteers from London and the South East travelled to six Big Bang events across the two regions to inspire young children about civil engineering

Structures made using the Stixx Machine at the Big Bang Fairs.
Structures made using the Stixx Machine at the Big Bang Fairs.

Over three months (from May to July 2016) ICE Volunteers attended six Big Bang events: large educational fairs organised by EngineeringUK which bring science and engineering to life for young people.

In total, over 15,000 children attended the six events, where ICE had a stand designated to educating young people about civil engineering in an interactive, accessible and fun way.

Located at the stand was Jeremy King's Stixx Machine, which allows children of all ages to build rods out of six sheets of newspaper. These rods can then be used to build all different kinds of shapes and structures – from hats to giant towers. The Stixx Machine shows children how civil engineers have to consider the materials they use and how they build structures to ensure they are completely stable.

In addition, children were able to play an iPad quiz that gave them 45 seconds to answer several questions on what type of job they would like to do when they were older. By answering questions like "Do you like to work outside?" and "Do you enjoy drawing shapes?" the quiz was able to suggest what type of civil engineer they could be, providing details on what that job role would involve. Every child that completed the quiz was given a sticker with more information about the proposed career.

ICE London and South East England Director Suzanne Moroney congratulated all involved in reaching so many schoolchildren: "I would like to thank and congratulate all the volunteers and staff involved in making the Big Bang Fairs happen. Having the chance to meet 15,000 children and talk to them about our exciting profession is a great way to ensure we continue to have a skilled, creative and passionate pool of civil engineers in the future."

Ted Nichols a Trainee Engineer from Osborne Engineering provided a write up of his experience at the Big Bang event at Newham College on Wednesday 6th July.

Read Teds write up

ICE London and South East England would like to particularly thank all volunteers who gave up their time to attend a Big Bang event:

  • Matt Ennals, Student at Portsmouth University
  • Christopher Dunlop, Student at Portsmouth University
  • David Adamson, Student at Portsmouth University
  • Ali Parlar, Student at Portsmouth University
  • Scott Dalton, Student at Brighton University
  • Will McGrath, Marine & Structural Engineer at HOP
  • Tom Milburn
  • Matthew Stott, Engineer at Arup
  • Safia Whitwham, Graduate Engineer at Osborne
  • Jonathan Fashanu
  • Tommy Hopkins, Project Manager at Arup
  • Ted Nichols, Trainee Engineer at Osborne
  • Nikolaos Patrinos, Engineer at McNicholas Construction
  • Angus Low, Consultant at Arup
  • Dr Ivana Kraincanic, Course Director at London South Bank University
  • Rishicca Kamalarajah