STEM/IGNITE Trip to the Big Bang Fair, Ageas Bowl, Southampton
- On Thursday, Mr Jackson led a group of twenty-four Year students to the Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (the ‘home-ground’ of Hampshire Cricket).
- We arrived to find the ground floor of the hotel had been filled with stalls offering STEM-based games, hands-on experiments and tasks, factual presentations and competitions, all run by universities, colleges, and major employers from across Britain. The car park had also been taken over by the Fair, with a pretend road works set up, a salting lorry, a RN Navy helicopter and ‘fast-reaction’ speedboat, an army display of weaponry and thermal-imaging equipment, a Formula 1 racing car, and other STEM-based displays.
- The Fair was an amazing opportunity for our students. It not only opened their eyes to a wide variety of STEM-based careers, but it also highlighted the different educational pathways students can follow so as to work towards given career pathways.
- All of our students were impeccably behaved, and were a credit to their families and our school, with many adults commenting on not only how well behaved the students were, but also how clever and diligent they were, demonstrating this whilst coming very close to winning (or winning!) many of the hands-on practical-based competitions that were running throughout the Fair.
- Below are a few quotes from some of the students who attended the Fair:
“A learnt a lot of new things about different jobs that really opened up my career options. We learnt lots about the Army and the Navy and even got to load and shoot an empty gun. The trip really made me consider the types of jobs available in the army which I didn't know even existed.
It really was a brilliant experience and had a chance to try a lot of activities that challenged my thinking and practical skills. I would go back if I had a chance because it really made me consider what my future may look like.
We also got to sit in a helicopter and change a formula one tyre in which someone from another school did it quicker than the professionals!!!” K.S.
“The STEM trip to Ageas Bowl was very good. Personally, I found it very fun and it was interesting to do all the activities that were set up. I think it is a very good idea as it was very educational and I learnt a lot of new information. It was helpful as some activities gave us information about things that we are going to learn about (Crude Oil).
It gave me information about careers and apprenticeships in engineering and science. This is good because it gave an insight on how exciting and fun this stuff can be in a job. It was very interesting as I learnt how many kinds of careers there are to do with STEM. For example, there are many different roles in the Royal Navy, such as a weaponry engineer and a marine engineer. There was lots of information given about these sorts of roles and I think that it can be useful for people that were looking at a career in that. Finally, I hope that there is another trip like this again and that I can also go on that one too as it was a very fun and educational trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it.” J.B.
“Last Thursday I went on the trip to the Ageas Bowl. I went to many different stalls, seeing and doing lots of different experiments. It was a great opportunity to see what I want to do when I'm older. I found everything really interesting. I'm glad that I went on this school trip.” J.D.
“After attending the year 9 trip to the Ageas Bowl I feel that I have more options to consider which can contribute towards my chosen career path. The opportunity to ask many college/ university students and experienced workers about further education, work and experiences has given me a better idea about how I can reach my future goal. I also found that the practical activities and aspects of the trip encouraged me to explore different options and made it a pleasurable experience.” J.E.
“I found the trip to Ageas Bowl informative as it helped me have a better understanding of future job prospects and what they entail. Also, I was able to understand where and how stem is used in a variety of careers. The information was presented in an interesting and fun way to maximise the enjoyment for students. Overall, it was a fun and inspiring day, much enjoyed by all who attended.” H.C.