Big Bang Fair Stand
On Sunday morning, as I pulled E5 car park at the NEC, got out and shut the car door, I immediately heard the squeals of excitement only possible from the oesophagus of excited children, ‘that’ll be for Disney on Ice’ I thought to myself – the show in the adjacent arena – after all it couldn’t be for a science fair could it? That’s like going to school on a weekend.
How wrong could I be? Before the show had even opened, lines of excited kids were queuing up to get into the UK’s largest Science Fair, the Big Bang Fair. Whereas Thursday and Friday was full of kids dragged along on a school excursion, the children here had dragged their parents along to be inspired by the latest and the greatest in science and technology.
It seemed apt for the Big Bang Fair to be on the same weekend researchers discovered echoes of the Big Bang, if confirmed, the images could make the most accepted theory on the creation of the universe more than a theory. The children at this show will be the ones to make the next huge scientific breakthroughs.
One of the hot topics on the lips of future curriculum planners in the UK has been 3D printing; on this very site we’ve chartered Chenderit School’s integration of 3D printing into the Design & Tech syllabus; so it was no surprise that on our stand - in partnership with our Bright Minds partners, Black Country Atelier was inundated from start to finish.
Children from up and down the country rushed over to see what the 3D printers were making, asking questions so complex and thought through that they left this self professed “3D Printing Expert” dumbfounded.
You think these kids don’t know but they do. Talk to them about Minecraft and they’ll talk to you about Blender. They ‘get’ the technology right away, it seems natural to them. They have not been exposed to the limitations of traditional manufacturing and therefore are able to look at 3D printing through the fresh open eyes many of us can’t.
TCT has long been dedicated to educating the next generation of engineers, who could yet steer this country from the brink of disaster. One thing is for sure, is that if we keep the kids who showed up at our stand topped up with the same levels of insight and enthusiasm the future is most certainly bright, and not bright in a Disney on Ice sort of way.
Education is being made a priority yet again at TCT Show + Personalize 2014, with Black Country Atelier and 3D Systems partnering with TCT to bring 3D printing to over 500 schoolchildren.