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Sunshine, Smiles and STEM in abundance in the Park

 May 21 2022 | Sussex | Views: 257

Crawley STEM in the Park returned after the pandemic

More than 3,000 parents, children and grandparents embraced the sunshine and attended a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) focussed free community event on Saturday 21st May in the Memorial Gardens in Crawley.

There were over 20 different STEM opportunities to entertain and educate all the family. A popular HD pop-up Starlight planetarium ran an additional three shows to keep up with the huge demand to visit space. The science show ‘Do Science’ had to remove all the chairs from the first two rows for the final show so around 50 additional children could sit on the grass to watch science at its best with strange and wonderful noises, levitating objects, flash bangs and big sparks and the occasional funny smell whilst parents and grandparents sat behind in more comfortable chairs. Thousands of rockets made by children were launched high into the sky and many of Crawley’s most prestigious companies spent all day inspriring and educating young people and their families about all things STEM.

Natalie Goodchild, UK Communications & CSR Specialist, CGG said: “It has been great for us to be able to attend face to face community events again, and I cannot believe how busy it has been today! It’s been amazing with our CGG team of volunteers working nonstop, and we look forward to attending and supporting more STEM events in the future.”

There were diverse, creative and fun STEM activities displayed and delivered by local employers, Higher Education Institutions and Crawley College, professional bodies, STEM communicators and educators.  The team from Edwards Vacuum showed what happens to marshmallows in a vacuum and after seeing the marshmallows turn into ‘Monster Mallows’ the science experiment was taken away to be eaten! On the Thales stand non-Newtonian fluids, aeroplanes and spinners were just some of the activities that kept copious amounts of children engaged with STEM.

Courses in all types of engineering were shared by the skilled team from Canterbury Christ Church University who engaged with learners of all ages. The engineering team helped to dispel the myth that engineering is not for women with their activities relating engineering to everyday life.

Hundreds of young people were able to touch, feel and learn about unusual scaley and slithery reptiles and amphibians showcased by the East Surrey Reptile and Amphibian Society (ESRAS).

Many parents agreed to be interviewed on the day and the feedback was extremely positive. One parent expressed what many others also mentioned: “The event today has been absolutely amazing. We went to the science show and it was an awesome experience. In the exhibitors tent we were able to see the job roles that our son might be able to do when he gets older as he is interested in science. He was able to learn about aeroplanes and reptiles and amphibians, it was such an exciting opportunity.” 

A further parent commented: “It was fantastic because it had many of the things you could see at the Science Museum, without having to pay for travel and associated costs for a day out which we currently are not able afford. I was delighted to see children interacting with other children and people coming together after two years of not being able to do such pleasant things. The robot coding and making torches with IET Sussex were other practical activities, with children taking home things from the event that they can share with their teachers at school.”

The event culminated in a sea of parents pushing happy children away from the park with coloured helium balloons attached to their pushchairs.

The event was made possible by Crawley Borough Council and STEM Learning and was organised by The STEM Hub who are based at Canterbury Christ Church University. 


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