A Very Big Bang

Yesterday was the day of the Eastern Big Bang Fair. We left college at 8.15 for our 2-hour journey to Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford. Unfortunately, Kate couldn't make it as she was busy looking around Plymouth University.

The first stand we visited was the Royal Society of Chemistry, where we were shown how sun cream works and was able to observe the importance of it. Opposite that was the Youth STEMM Award table, where the wonderful Sam and Simon Fox were talking to prospective STEMM Award students.

From there, we made our way downstairs to GlaxoSmithKline, where we met the extraordinary
scientists behind a revolutionary medicine to be used in poverty stricken countries, and who kindly
allowed us to take a photo of them with the new medicine. It is a gel that is used to clean the umbilical cord of a newborn baby after it has been cut; often, mud and animal manure would be used to wipe it 'clean', however, this would be likely to give the baby harmful diseases. We then took part in an activity where we put some gloves on and covered them in a cream (which represented bacteria), then placed our hand under a UV light to see how covered they were; then we attempted to remove the gloves without getting the cream on our bare skin. It's fair to say none of us managed it, however, Olivia did best, with only a small speck on her wrist.
Over the other side of the Lord Ashcroft Building was Mitsubishi Electrical, who was holding a competition on who could make a business the most 'green'. 

Then it was over to a rocket making stand, who was also holding a competition: who can shoot a rocket the furthest? We managed to shoot ours 18 meters, 13 meters short of a new record!

MBDA was next on our agenda, where we each made a 'Future Apprentice' badge and were provided with information about careers in the missile production industry.

From there, we headed over to London Stansted Airport, where there was an activity on packing square and rectangle blocks into a perfect cube, which took us a while!

As we turned, a Virtual Reality system from Roche caught our eye, so we decided to go there. Evie and Kioni tried it out, whilst Imogen and Olivia watched on the screen, which was showing how viruses travel through the blood stream and towards cells and took full advantage of the fact that neither Kioni nor Evie could hear or see anything around them.

After all of that, we sat down to have lunch and realised how many pens, rubbers, and other souvenirs we managed to pick up along the way. In the picture, there's a pom-pom, 4 badges, 4 solar system posters, 4 wrist bands, 4 sheets of stickers, 4 rubbers, a glue stick, a felt-tip pen, a highlighter, 2 packs of sticky notes, a tote bag, a yo-yo, 4 awkward teenagers, and 49 pens! (Ignore the box of Oreo Thins, Olivia thought she was being funny)

But we weren't finished! After lunch, we headed back upstairs to speak to a student ambassador from Anglia Ruskin University itself about courses the university has to offer in all 3 of its campuses.

Again, we went back upstairs to the Institution of Engineering and Technology, where we made our own mini-torches using a simple circuit and gained more information on women in the IET.

The last thing we did was visit Affinity Water, where we took part in a slightly bizarre activity: Evie and Kioni were using large plastic jugs to scoop balls from their plastic box into Imogen and Olivia's, who in return, were using small plastic beakers to scoop their balls into Evie and Kioni's plastic box. Then the pairs swapped containers and did it again (the truth is, in both, we managed to get more balls on the floor than into each other's boxes). The first represents water usage and aquifers in the winter (Kioni and Evie were rain clouds that fill aquifers, Olivia and Imogen were people using water, and the balls were water), the second represents them in the summer. Then we were given information on how to reduce our water usage and how water filtration works to prevent parasitic diseases.

By the end of the day, we were tired (and couldn't wait to get back on the coach), but enjoyed developing our knowledge on career paths we had never considered doing before!

- Imogen, Kioni, Evie, and Olivia

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