A science exhibition has welcomed more than 3,000 young people from over 130 schools across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Big Bang Fair Northern Ireland incorporating Sentinus Young Innovators, one of the largest events of its kind in the UK took place at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus. The annual event celebrates the achievements of young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and centres on an exhibition of innovative and exciting science projects, based around real world problems and carried out by students from schools across the island of Ireland.
Students showcased their science projects solving real world problems and competed for a variety of prizes including the chance to represent Northern Ireland at the Big Bang Fair in the UK and International Science and Engineering Fair in the USA.
The overall winners were Redmond O’Hanlon from St. Colman’s College Newry who received the Northern Ireland Young Engineers Award, Eve Matthews and Katie Caffrey from Loreto Secondary School Balbriggan who received the Northern Ireland Young Scientists Award. Cleo Gallen and Zainab Shahid from Loreto Secondary School Balbriggan received the Sentinus Award for The Big Bang Fair Northern Ireland Overall Winner 2020.
The event was organised by Sentinus, an educational charity working with more than 60,000 young people each year, from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland, delivering programmes that promote engagement in STEM and support the development of scientific and technological skills.
Alongside the exhibition and competition, school children were treated to a number of interactive workshops designed to bring science to life. Employers, universities and industry bodies such as Queen’s University, Ulster University, Atkins and The Royal Society of Chemistry were also on hand to provide valuable advice about pursuing a career in the STEM sectors.
Commenting on the event Sentinus Chief Executive, Bill Connor said: “A STEM literate society is considered vital to the long-term economic success of Northern Ireland and that these skills are considered a necessity to enable us compete in a truly global and connected marketplace. This flagship event is a culmination of a lot of our work with schools over the past year which is designed to encourage and develop an interest in STEM subjects and skills among our young people.”