On 25 June, 6000 students from primary and secondary schools across the South West came together in Exeter Westpoint for THE BIG BANG EVENT – the regions largest celebration of diverse Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers (STEM). 

The event hosts an incredible range of interactive exhibits run by passionate STEM employers from a wide range of career backgrounds. Kate Sammons (Architect) and Rob Sewell (Landscape Architect) from LHC Design took part this year. Here, they talk us through their event experience.

There was a buzz of enthusiasm and intrigue in the air at June’s BIG BANG event, and the excitement was infectious! Students enjoyed a day of engaging demonstrations, interactive experiences and scientific experiments too – many of which delivered the promised ‘BIG BANG’, echoing loudly around the venue!

But behind these fantastic exhibits, a wealth of career advice was being shared. What better way for students to discover their dream career than to take part in these exciting activities with industry experts?

Our stall was based in the ‘Construction Zone’, run by Building Plymouth in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Exhibits included everything from JCB digger simulations to demonstrating the science behind bridge building.

Alongside Stride Treglown and Atkins Global, we took charge of the ‘Design Lab’, which specifically promoted careers in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Urban Design. We led a modelling activity to showcase just how creative our respective careers can be!

Modelling is a huge part of the design process for all disciplines, and helps to visualise our schemes more effectively than in a purely two-dimensional world.

Students were mesmerised by the 3D printer at work, building houses before their eyes, and enjoyed our demonstration of Google SketchUp. They quickly learned how their ideas could shape where we live, play and work.

We then brought in a couple of large base boards, and a huge supply of recycled and scrap materials and announced our ‘Build a City’ challenge. A bit of a departure from the other technology on display at the event, but students were really engaged regardless! It quickly became clear that they had lots of ideas about their ideal city – and were certainly not afraid to start building it!

We were so impressed by the students’ thought processes and their knowledge of sustainable issues affecting our urban and rural landscapes. Throughout the day, wind turbines, solar panels, nature reserves began and even flood management schemes began to pop up on the model. One particular student noted that putting a polluting factory near the centre of the city was a bad idea, and should be replaced with trees!

The slow process of hand crafting their innovative landscapes and buildings led to lots of discuss around the table, and it became clear that students were beginning to understand what a career in landscape would look like.

It was a pleasure to play a part in the day helping the students become more equipped and informed about their futures. BIG BANG events take place across the country and are incredibly rewarding events for STEM employers to take part in – we recommend you take part!

For more information visit: https://nearme.thebigbangfair.co.uk/