National Science and Engineering Week celebrated in the UK last week, was rather busy for ARKive’s STEM Ambassadors, with the team running a myriad of activities at 9 different schools throughout Bristol and Somerset.
To add to our hectic schedule, last week also saw the NEC in Birmingham host The Big Bang Fair 2012 – the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. The fair is a chance for kids (and adults!) to get hands on with lots of practical and fun activities; from welding with chocolate, driving and commanding virtual tanks, controlling robots – and, of course, playing ARKive’s ‘Web of Wildlife’!
What were we doing?
We spent our time at The Big Bang talking to school children, college students, teachers, educators and a whole host of other organisations from the worlds of science, technology, engineering and maths. It was hard keeping track of exactly how many people we spoke to, but with nearly 50,000 people expected over the three days of the event, we imagine it was a lot!
Engaging the next generation
The Big Bang was a fantastic opportunity for us to enthuse some of the future scientists of tomorrow, and to teach them about how films and photographs are an invaluable tool in promoting appreciation of the natural world. We also had fun explaining all about ARKive and how it can be used in coursework, projects and in the classroom.
We had an amazing response from all of the people we spoke to over the three days of the fair. Teachers were really interested to hear about our education resources, while kids and adults alike loved playing on the website, our Survival app, and our ‘Web of Wildlife’ activity.
ARKive’s next ‘superfan’?
No summary of ARKive’s time at The Big Bang Fair would be complete without mentioning one of our most enthusiastic young fans who, at just 6 years old, ran circles around the team at our own activities! Having unlocked and gained three stars for all of the characters on our Survival app, Arun eagerly proceeded to beat us at our own game and managed to complete all four food webs on our Web of Wildlife activity – in just 46 seconds!
Our favourite quotes from The Big Bang Fair 2012…
“I don’t have a favourite species, I like them all! And you can’t really have one because new ones are being discovered all the time”.
“I love ARKive; I use it all the time! I used it to teach reproduction to Year 7’s by using examples of external and internal fertilisation.”
Teacher – Shenley Brook End School (Milton Keynes)
“We use ARKive as our go-to resource for looking up our ‘animal of the week’ for younger students”.
A Level Student – Rugby College
“I love ARKive, I follow you on twitter and Facebook and I have your app on my phone!”
Teacher – John Cabot Academy (Bristol)
Missed out on The Big Bang Fair this year? We’ll be back at London’s ExCeL centre in 2013 – we hope to see you there!
The ARKive STEM team