Launch of science festival that will end with a Big Bang

Demonstrating how our digestive system works at last year's STEMfest
Demonstrating how our digestive system works at last year's STEMfest

The scientists, engineers and inventors of the future will be given an insight into the courses and careers available to them at a spring festival.

Coastal STEMfest 2017, celebrating all things science, technology, engineering and maths, will be held during February and March at coastal schools and colleges.

A demonstration of physics at last year's STEMfest

A demonstration of physics at last year's STEMfest

The festival will include a series of interactive activities, demonstrations, workshops and shows designed to encourage the next generation to study and build careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Last year, 2,000 students from 17 schools took part, along with 33 local employers, and organisers hope to attract even more this year.

The theme of Coastal STEMfest will be 'Setting the course for careers in STEM' - areas employers in West Sussex have found to be weak in school leavers.

So far, more than 20 organisations have signed up to attend the festival, including the National Physical Laboratory, GSK and Ricardo, Kingston University’s Lab in a Lorry and Southern Water’s Campaign Bus, while motorsports engineering students from Northbrook College will be attending with their car.

The project will end with the Big Bang @ Butlin’s science fair on March 14 in Bognor Regis. Last year’s finale was attended by 750 secondary school students and their teachers.

Caroline Wood, of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, said: "Addressing the STEM skills gap has been identified as a real priority for businesses in West Sussex.

"Local businesses are committed to doing more to enthuse young people to study STEM subjects, and we believe Coastal STEMfest 2017 will fire young people’s curiosity.

"It is also an opportunity for employers to engage with their potential future workforce by providing activities that make STEM subjects relevant to local industries.

"Feedback from last year’s Big Bang @ Butlin’s, Bognor Regis, showed that three-quarters of students felt more positive about science after attending.”

For further information, log on to www.stemfest.co.uk.

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