WHAT WILL STEM FROM THE BIG BANG AT THE CRICHTON?
The Crichton Trust will be hosting two inspirational events on The Crichton Estate in Dumfries on the 20th and 21st April. Both events are designed to engage local young people in a range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities. In doing so it is hoped that this will stimulate interest in STEM subjects and raise awareness of STEM related study and career opportunities.
BIG BANG DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY
The first event, The Big Bang Dumfries and Galloway, will take place in Easterbrook Hall on Friday 20th April from 10am to 3pm and is aimed at S1-S3 pupils attending secondary school in Dumfries and Galloway. The Big Bang Dumfries and Galloway is being organised by the Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) in partnership with DYW Dumfries and Galloway, The Crichton Trust, Food and Drink Federation Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway College.
Organisations with a particular interest or expertise in STEM subjects, courses or careers will be exhibiting at this event. As well as providing young people with the opportunity to experience a range of inspiring activities, it will also provide organisations with a platform to interact with their workforce of the future and in particular scientists, technologists and engineers. There will be a particular focus on promoting careers in the food and drink sector through a series of interactive workshops and presentations.
Justin Thomas, DYW Programme Manager has been instrumental in attracting the event to Dumfries and Galloway and in generating support from key partners and organisations. Justin is delighted that the Big Bang event is coming to Dumfries and Galloway for the first time. He said: “It has been fantastic working with EDT, FDF Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway College and The Crichton Trust to develop this brilliant Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths fair. This event provides Dumfries and Galloway with yet another superb attraction. The fair promises to provide something new for our young people and a twist on the usual open days where everyone will be given an opportunity to partake in an activity related to the hosting business or organisation. This will illustrate what they do and how important STEM is for our region. I can’t wait to see how the businesses and organisations involved interact with our regions young people!”
Jim Brown, Director of the Energy Skills Partnership said: “ESP is delighted to be a key partner in bringing the Big Bang Near Me to Dumfries and Galloway. The event will clearly demonstrate how regional partnerships can make a real difference in promoting STEM subjects by bringing them to life and inspiring school pupils through active engagement and hands on activities.”
This was echoed by Janet Weir, Head of Curriculum at Dumfries and Galloway College who added: “We, at the College, are delighted to be working with other key partners to bring the Big Bang event to Dumfries. The opportunity to work in partnership to inspire young people to study and pursue STEM related careers comes at a crucial time as STEM is a regional and national focus for us. We look forward to the Big Bang becoming an annual event for the region.”
Meanwhile Moira Stalker, Skills Manager from Food and Drink Federation Scotland reinforces that there is demand for these skills within the food and drink sector. She said: “There are a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers on offer in the food and drink industry, including for scientists and engineers. The sector has a skills shortage with around 27,000 new job opportunities forecast over the next 10 years. Higher level technical skills, especially STEM skills are in high demand. We are delighted to be involved in this event and hope that we can inspire youngsters with an interest in STEM subjects to consider a career in food and drink.”
DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY SCIENCE FESTIVAL AND BAT WALK
After an inspiring day at The Big Bang event with classmates and teachers on the Friday, it is hoped that young people will return to The Crichton Estate with their friends and families on the Saturday to attend the Dumfries and Galloway Science Festival. This free family day will take place from 12noon to 5pm on Saturday 21st April in Easterbrook Hall on The Crichton Estate in Dumfries. There will be an opportunity to watch some amazing science shows, learn gruesome facts, carry out experiments, build cool structures, play with real robots, build rockets and so much more. There is also the opportunity to join Dumfries and Galloway Bat Group on an educational bat night walk around The Crichton Estate staring at 8.30pm on Saturday 21st April from outside Easterbrook Hall.
Alex Haswell, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust said: “It is great to see organisations working together to offer these interactive events for the young people of Dumfries and Galloway, and of course we are very pleased to be hosting both events on The Crichton Estate, where business and academic partners already work in collaboration to address the needs of learners and businesses. I very much look forward to welcoming everyone to Easterbrook Hall and also invite visitors to call into Neuro’s Bar, Restaurant and Spa to enjoy snacks, meals and refreshments while they are here.”