Bringing civil engineering to life at the Big Bang Fair

ICE and nine industry partners showcased the diverse and exciting ways in which civil engineering shapes the world around us to thousands of students at this year’s Big Bang Fair.

Students work together to build a stable structure at the Big Bang Fair
Students work together to build a stable structure at the Big Bang Fair

The civil engineering stand gave 7-19 year olds the chance to explore water, energy, transport, structures, and how the profession deals with waste and works underground.

Youngsters got involved in a range of activities including setting up a wind turbine, propping up Pisa – the famous leaning Italian tower, building structures and testing their stability, discovering the amounts of water we use daily, learning about managing waste, as well as simulating pedestrian movement via Mott MacDonald’s STEPS pedestrian modelling tool.

With a focus on creating awareness of civil engineering, its sectors and job roles within the industry, this year we successfully introduced the ‘Find the civil engineer within you’ quiz. Youngsters were encouraged to complete an interactive personality quiz to establish what zone of civil engineering they wanted to make a difference in and what job role best suited them.

Record visitors

ICE has been a key supporter of the Big Bang Fair since it started in 2009, initially attracting 6,500 people. This year over 70,000 visitors, including young people, teachers and parents, attended the fair.

Our ‘Civil engineers: Shaping the world’ stand saw a record number of 3000 youngsters take part in the activities.

Jason Beltrame, Graduate Civil Engineer at Mott Macdonald and volunteer on the stand said that ‘volunteering at the ICE stand is so far the highlight of my 2016! It was really rewarding to have so many enthusiastic young people inquisitive about what I do which inspired them to want a career in civil engineering.’

Thank you to our sponsors – Mace, Morgan Sindall, Mott Macdonald, Galliford Try, IStructE, Bam Nuttall, Black & Veatch, Kier and Skanska – and our volunteers who helped bring engineering to life at the Big Bang Fair 2016.

Could you help inspire the next generation of civil engineers?

If you're interested in helping to bring engineering to life for young people and help explain civil engineering then we'd love to hear from you. ICE ambassadors work with schools across the country, and we're always on the look out for more volunteers.

Find out more about how you can help and register your interest