Big Bang Bristol
31 August 2017
Big Bang Bristol is a two day Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fair aimed at school-aged children which this year took place 6 - 7 July 2017 at the Trinity Centre in Bristol.
The event was divided into two zones:
The Enterprise Zone hosted a diverse range of companies from the south west who spoke about the use of STEM subjects within their industries and provided practical advice on routes into STEM careers.
The Research Zone hosted PhD students and researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Bath, and UWE, allowing the next generation to learn about the world-class research in the region, find out about life as a postgraduate and how best to go about becoming a professor. A series of stands offered interactive exhibits which included makng placenta models and looking at fluorescent cancer cells under microscopes.
Will Hunter, the MRC IEU Engagement and Communication Associate, arranged for the Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP) to host a stall alongside the IEU, running activities for the public to engage with. Researchers Vanessa Tan, Josh Bell, James Yarmolinsky, Caroline Bull, Emma Vincent and Aayah Nounu used ICEP’s Mystery Box to interact and start discussions with the public. The activity engaged with over 150 visitors.
Interdisciplinary research and co-operation are crucial to the process of establishing causal links between lifestyle factors and disease. ICEP researchers worked closely with Will Hunter to develop ‘THE MYSTERY BOX’, an ICEP-specific activity which can be used at public engagement events to help discuss this concept. Members of the public need to work together to discover what is inside the mystery box using their sense of touch and smell. The challenge helps people understand how different disciplines and approaches can work together to produce scientific research.