May 20 2023 | SE England | Views: 411
STEM in the Park returned to a sunny Memorial Gardens in Crawley on Saturday 20 May attracting around 4,300 children, parents and grandparents for a a spectacular day of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The aim of STEM In The Park is to engage all ages in STEM activities by utilising teamwork, creativity and most of all having fun while learning. The event was supported by employers from various STEM industries and local businesses and organisations offering more than 50 different STEM experiences for the community to enjoy. The event ran smoothly with the aid of around 20 STEM Ambassadors.
There were numerous highlights including a visit from Crawley Fire Station who engaged with young people allowing them to climb aboard to explore all areas of a fire engine, science and planetarium shows ran throughout the day, and Metrobus welcomed visitors on-board its new hydrogen-powered bus. Young people learnt how to fly a drone via a tough obstacle course and Ifield Community College showcased its student-led solar car allowing visitors to sit in the driving seat. Crawley College enticed young visitors with a paper rocket trail from the park to the college where extended STEM activities were taking place at its STEM Centre.
Over 35 exhibitors supported the event, some returning and many joining for the first time, from various industries including construction, aviation, healthcare, environmental and geoscience offering vital careers information to young people and parents on varied opportunities available within their industries. Each displayed an educational STEM related table-top activity. There was something exciting for all ages, including; flying mice, exploding cotton wool, a hydrogen powered Scalextric, a model simulator and programmable ‘Mars Rover’, twix bars to explore rock properties. Also on show, food and hygiene sampling, VR headsets detailing conservation efforts around manta rays, explanations about how bananas are used as a natural source of radiation and much more!
The event was hailed a huge success by many parents who agreed to be interviewed on the day and their feedback was extremely positive. The Arpita family, whose children attend Southgate Primary School in Crawley said: “Thanks for organising this amazing STEM event. It’s just as interesting for us parents as for my son who learnt several things by simply doing them. Please continue organising events like this!”
Junior visitors Elliott and Lucy commented: “We saw a 3D printer which printed a robot, watched a science show, we blew bubbles and sat in a solar powered car and did lots more. We had a great time.”
Alex, aged 9 explained: “I found out how to find the centre of a circle with a compass.”
A grandma said: “The science show was something the children enjoyed greatly. Eleven junior members of my family found the pop-up planetarium fascinating and they learnt new things about space.”
The family interviews suggested more than 95% of STEM in the Park visitors resided in the Crawley area, however, expansive event marketing and advertising enticed people to attend from East Sussex and Surrey.
The event was supported by Crawley Borough Council and Gatwick Airport Limited and delivered by The STEM Hub South East/Central South.