School of Maths at Big Bang Fair NEC Birmingham 2017

For the third consecutive year the School of Mathematics have hosted a popular stand at this exciting Science Fair for young people. This year the event is taking place from 15 - 18 March 2017 at the NEC Exhibition Centre in Birmingham

The University of Manchester's stand at the Big Bang 2017 in full flow - being enjoyed by all

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

The Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals. 

Young people (primarily aged 7-19) are shown the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life.

Having grown from 6,500 visitors in its first year (2009) to over 70,000 in 2016, The Big Bang Fair is made possible thanks to the collaborative efforts of over 200 organisations including the University of Manchester.

Organised by our own Professor Andrew Hazel and Dr Charles Walkden from Mathematics (who also co-ordinate the popular Cryptography and MathsBombe online competitions for young people) the stand offers lots of fun and engaging activities.  These include a learning machine (which shows how a computer can learn how to play chess), the science behind ribbon curling (important for wrapping presents!) and rubiks cube puzzles. Code breaking activities are also on show, illustrating the way that ciphers work by solving various codes linked to Alan Turing's classical treasure hunt map problem.

The stand has been hugely popular as shown by a direct quote by one 13-year old student attending this year's fair "The coding was awesome and I had real fun with you.  I learnt so much and didn't know science could be this ace.  I loved the chess tips too - I can now use these when playing the game with my Dad".  The fair continues until Saturday and is supported by volunteers from our staff and PhD Students from Mathematics.

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