Peterborough STEM Festival attracts 4000 visitors
A staggering 4000 visitors attended the Peterborough STEM Festival on Saturday where they were wowed by wave tanks, amazed by archaeology, stunned by science and excited by engineering.
With help from headline sponsors The BGL Group, Anglian Water and the Anglian Water @one Alliance, the organising team were able to put on a fantastic free event for the fourth year running at the KingsGate conference centre in Parnwell. Exhibits this year included coding workshops, virtual reality, simulators, dancing robots, huge engines, rocket making, bridges you could walk across, bridges you could build and more science than you could shake a stick at. Visitors had the chance to play games on retro computers, take part in a scavenger hunt and make their own dragonflies and so much more. Children and adults alike were encouraged to touch and explore the exhibits, ask questions and they all really engaged and interacted. DR Sam Gregson delighted his talk audience by smashing up clocks and exploding bins and took them all on a journey through an app on their phones too. One of the festival’s aims is to encourage girls and young women to consider STEM-based career opportunities. This year, the festival also took park in autism hour by opening an hour earlier for SEN families or those with additional needs. During this time, exhibitor noise was minimal and the lights were dimmed to make it more comfortable. There was also the addition of a quiet room for when it all got a bit much so that rather than having to leave, visitors could take a step back if needed. This is the fourth year that the Peterborough STEM festival has showcased the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the population of Peterborough and it has now gone ‘world-wide’. Founder of the event Tia Lush emigrated to New Zealand at the end of 2017 and put on her first STEM festival there this year, running 13 hours ahead of Peterborough’s. Festival Organiser Jonathan Frascella said “Feedback from this year’s event has been very encouraging, highlighting the demand for STEM within Peterborough and makes our efforts throughout the year worthwhile. We’re incredibly grateful to all the support we’ve received at every level from our sponsors and exhibitors through to volunteers - and of course the public for turning up and enjoying the event with us.” Tyler Clarke, founder of the soon to open HackSpace, said “The STEM festival was absolutely incredible, the engagement with visitors was superb and we met so many people who connected with what we are trying to achieve. As a first time exhibitor, this was an amazing opportunity for The HackSpace and action has not fallen short with our enquiries and newsletter subscriptions going through the roof since the event. This has been a really good experience and will most definitely be back next year, possibly as a sponsor! “The work the organisers have put in to create an event such as this for Peterborough is amazing, thanks guys” The Peterborough STEM Festival is funded by sponsorship and run entirely by volunteers. The work they put into making it a success is fueled by their passion for encouraging the future talent and skills of the city’s young people. Planning is already underway for next years event, but if you want more of a STEM fix, the team are also hosting a FIRST LEGO League Jr Expo. Registration is open now and teams of up to six 6-9-year-olds get together to identify potential real-world problems, design a solution and build a LEGO model to demonstrate the solution. For more info, head to www.peterboroughSTEMfestival.co.uk/LEGO