Crawley STEMfest set to launch

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 13:30

An evening of science and comedy will officially launch the seventh annual Crawley STEMfest, the biggest and most exciting STEM festival of the year for young people in the region.

The launch event will take place at the new Elekta Cornerstone building on 26 April and will feature award-winning comedy writer Helen Keen, from Radio 4’s Uncaged Monkeys, accompanied by Antony Yates, keynote speaker for the afternoon and Head of Engineering at Gatwick Airport who are the headline sponsor for STEMfest 2018.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Crawley STEMfest once again and look forward to supporting an exciting programme of events, inspiring young people to consider a STEM based career".

Local Crawley students from St Wilfrid’s Catholic College and Hazelwick School will be showing how Crawley STEMfest has inspired them. Students were successful in last year’s South East heats of the Big Bang UK Scientists & Engineers Competition, and represented the region at the national finals. The St Wilfrid’s team won the intermediate engineering category, with Hazelwick as runners up – a first for Crawley, and indeed the South East!

Manor Royal BID executive director, Steve Sawyer, will host the Launch and Comedy evening, where around 120 representatives from local industry and education will attend.

Steve Wort, Managing Director of Elekta said: “Elekta is proud to be hosting the launch of STEMfest for 2018. STEMfest has been part of Elekta’s diary for many years, our employees enjoy contributing the programme of events and we find it inspirational to meet with local students taking an interest in STEM”.

Crawley STEMfest forms part of Gatwick’s wider Community Engagement ‘Inform, Inspire, Invest’ education strategy, including partnerships with other STEM initiatives, such as the Big Bang Fair and Learn Live broadcasts.

First held in 2012, Crawley STEMfest events will take place throughout May and June and is expected to involve as many as 20,000 local students. It continues to be an ideal way for local employers to connect and inspire young people to pursue impactful science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Part of the nationwide Big Bang Near Me programme, Crawley STEMfest will culminate with the Big Bang Fair South East, at the South of England Showground on 27 and 28 June, which due to popular demand, is being held over two days for the first time. It the biggest single celebration of STEM for young people in the UK, with around 9,000 students and their teachers from across the region taking part.

The next community event takes place in the form of STEM in the Park on the 12 May in the Memorial Gardens in Crawley town centre. No need for tickets, just come along with your whole family for a free and inspiring day of hands-on science and tech fun.

Organised by STEM Sussex, the STEM outreach support department at the University of Brighton, in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Crawley College