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Big Bang Digital 2020 inspires next generation

Posted on 30 Jul 2020 and read 283 times
Big Bang Digital 2020 inspires next generationBig Bang Digital 2020 – science, engineering and Covid-19, a one-day digital event which took place in mid-July gave an inspirational and uplifting look at the essential role of science and engineering in the pandemic.

Young people had the opportunity to listen and chat to world-leading scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians and other students who have and continue to be vital in the fight against the disease and in keeping essential services and supplies available.

The event, watched live by almost 28,000 young people and viewed by up to 50,000 young people including 4,773 British Sign Language viewers across 24hr, also played host to exclusive videos from Sir David Attenborough which were part of an interactive session by Plastic Oceans UK on how plastic pollution may well have worsened during the pandemic.

Young people were also given the opportunity to ask questions to world-renowned scientist and SAGE member Sir Jeremy Farrar live on air in the Ask the Experts session. Many also joined the GSK workshop to find out more about its work in finding a vaccine.

The day also saw a lot of fun with the BBC’s ‘Gastronaut’ Stefan Gates who produced the colours of the rainbow in a science show called Explosion of colour. Viewers also tuned into a session where Greg Foot, a TV and radio science presenter, podcaster and YouTuber (pictured), who hosted the day, talked to a red panda. The red panda was the on-screen avatar used by an intelligence agent, for security reasons, as he explained what you should be doing to keep yourself safe and secure on-line.

When polled on the day almost 80% of young viewers said they were inspired to consider a future career in science, technology or engineering, a higher proportion than young people surveyed generally — no doubt so they can be the scientists and engineers of tomorrow, who help prevent future pandemics. It also discovered that 63% of participants think that people will respect the environment more as a result of seeing the detrimental impact humans can have.

Beth Elgood, director of communications at EngineeringUK, which organised the event, said: “Big Bang Digital 2020 was a huge success – this was not only evident by the numbers of engaged young people logging in but also the positive comments we received. To hear that 80% of viewers would consider a future career in science, technology or engineering is so encouraging. We are really proud that the event has inspired them and hope it is long-lasting.

“We know from research by the British Science Association that almost nine in 10 young people do not think scientists (89%) or politicians (92%) are talking to them when discussing Covid-19, so it was great that Big Bang Digital 2020 was able to give them an insight into the important roles engineers and scientists play in a pandemic, as well as the opportunity to ask first-hand any questions they had.”

During the event, participants were also invited to take part in the Meet The Future You Quiz, a careers quiz designed to show how skills and passions could lead to an exciting job. The quiz was completed by 4,900 young people on the day of the event and an additional 1,369 have done so since. There have also been an impressive 4,194 views of the content since it was made available on demand.

The Big Bang Digital 2020 - science, engineering and Covid-19 full stream, as well as individual sessions showcasing the incredible contribution of scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians and students in responding to the pandemic, is now available to view on demand at the web site: (www.digitalbigbang.co.uk).