Northern Irish students celebrate at The Big Bang Fair 2019

  • The UK's biggest STEM event for young people is happening right now across the country, and this week it was Northern Ireland's turn to play host to The Big Bang 2019 science fair.

    Big Bang NI 2019 took place this week in Ulster University's Jordanstown campus, bringing over 3,000 young people from more than 130 schools across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland together to celebrate science and engineering. The fair includes exhibitions and competitions for students aged between 7 and 19, and this year's event incorporated Sentinus Young Innovators.

    The science projects showcased at the event focused on solving real-world problems, and were judged by a panel of industry experts who volunteered their time to support STEM engagement in Northern Ireland. Overall prize winners were:
     - Northern Ireland Young Engineers Award: Redmond O’Hanlon from St. Colman’s College Newry.
     - Northern Ireland Young Scientists Award: Eve Matthews and Katie Caffrey from Loreto Secondary School Balbriggan.
     - Sentinus Award for The Big Bang Fair Northern Ireland Overall Winner 2020: Cleo Gallen and Zainab Shahid from Loreto Secondary School Balbriggan. Cleo and Zainab will be flown to California in May next year for an all-expenses-paid trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Anaheim.

    The event was run by educational charity Sentinus, whose mission is to promote STEM engagement in schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. In addition to the awards, the event included detailed showcases of primary and post-primary student science projects and a series of interactive workshops that aimed to spark young minds. Representatives were also present from local tech employers and universities to answer questions and give advice about getting a career in STEM.

    Sentinus' Chief Executive Bill Connor commented on the event: "With the recent report from the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) showing a low number of girls in NI studying computing, it is important we tackle the cultural stereotyping of computer users and bridge the STEM gender gap. By challenging misconceptions about women and science, we can help encourage more girls to consider pursuing STEM subjects."

    Source: Written based on press release

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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