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Next generation of scientists take Aston construction challenge

Big Bang Fair

18 March 2014

An ingenious construction challenge set-up by Aston University featured at the UK’s largest science and technology fair for young people. 

Students and staff from Aston’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) took part in the Big Bang Fair 2014, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for 7-19 year olds. 

At the event, which aims to inspire youngsters to become scientists and engineers through exciting hands-on challenges, the EAS showcased an interactive project, called the CDIO Initiative. The Initiative, championed and adopted by Aston University, encourages students to learn through real-world practical work rather than focussing solely on academic theory.

The Aston students set-up a large spaghetti tower building contest and asked attendees to create an imaginative structure which had to obey the core elements of structural engineering. 

Hopefully, in the years to come, some of the young people attending the Big Bang Fair will choose to continue their education at Aston

Dr Christian McLening, Senior Lecturer at EAS, said: “It was a great experience to meet the scientists, engineers and designers of the future. Aston University has always prided itself as being an institution able to offer practically relevant courses at all levels and this event felt in keeping with that tradition. Hopefully, in the years to come, some of the young people attending the Big Bang Fair will choose to continue their education at Aston.” 

After the tasks were finished, study and careers advice was available from EAS academics supervising the stand. 

Engineering modules at Aston are inspired by the Active Engineering philosophy – a belief that students become engineers or designers not only by developing technical knowledge but by also improving their team and project management abilities, social awareness and practical engineering skills. 

For more information on EAS and Active Engineering, see here. 

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For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or j.garbett@aston.ac.uk