Inspiring STEM Careers with a Big Bang

By Dora Smith

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The more I dive into my new gig, the more amazed I am at all the great academic programs happening around the world. This week is National Robotics Week in the U.S. Recently EngineeringUK led Big Bang UK,  an annual educational fair that inspires more than 50,000 children and young adults to pursue STEM careers. 

Some of my UK colleagues – Anna Garton, Mike Brown, Cassandra Coe, Russell Brook and Paul Brown – were there with colleagues from other Siemens businesses, including healthcare and energy. Together they highlighted the types of Siemens careers that require STEM graduates and the role engineering plays in developing technology for a changing world.

Dame Ellen MacArthur was at the event and in the video. In 2005, she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe. She shared in the video:

“When you see their eyes light up, you start to see them think maybe I could do that…it opens opportunities up for young people.”

The event is organized by Engineering UK and celebrates young people’s achievements in science and engineering with annual awards. It was good to hear they named Jessica Jones UK’s first female Young Engineer of the year. It’s clear she doesn’t see any gender barriers, noting in the video: “I don’t understand why it’s perceived as a male’s discipline.”

Anna shared with me:
“We need to create and inspire tomorrow’s talent by engaging them in STEM. Attendees were ages 7-18 and had a lot of fun in our F1 Red Bull Racing simulator. They could race one lap to win prizes for the best time each day. We also had a Solid Edge station set up for children to play with the software. We had actual physical parts of the Red Bull F1 car for them to touch and see what detail and planning goes into making a race car.” 

It seems the simulator brought out the kid in everyone 😉 , including Siemens executive Roland Aurich.
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Mike found the event a great opportunity to talk to students, teachers, parents and famous TV stars. 
“It was good to meet so many motivated students. They asked some really good questions -giving me hope that the future of humanity is safe thanks to these aspiring engineers.  Parents were keen to try and squeeze into the Red Bull simulator and find out about the many different career opportunities within engineering.  It was also great to talk to TV legend Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from the BBC SciFi comedy Red Dwarf).  Robert was very interested in our work with the Greenpower challenge and explained his interest in electric cars.”

Here Mike shows a young student Solid Edge.
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You can see more photos from the event on Siemens UK and Siemens PLM Flickr sites.

Anna told me they had a giant message board in the Siemens booth with various questions/comments for students to write responses. My favorite – “when I leave school I want to be…”
What did you want to be when you left school? Have you achieved it?


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at