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Big Bang announces VIP judges for 2020 competition

The Big Bang Competition has pulled together some of the most exciting personalities in science and engineering from a diverse range professional backgrounds to judge the UK Finals in March 2020. 

Ruth Amos, inventor and co-founder of YouTube channel Kids Invent Stuff joins the engineering judging panel for the first time but is already familiar with the potential opportunities The Big Bang Competition and Fair can provide, having entered the Young Engineer for Britain in 2006 with her project the ‘StairSteady‘.

Commenting on joining the panel of judges, Ruth Amos, said:

“Winning ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ in 2006 completely changed my views on engineering [and] helped to determine my career path – I know how important and life-changing these awards can be. 

“Winning gave me the confidence to start my own company and I’ve been able to have so many amazing opportunities since… and now [I] get to inspire the next generation of engineers by building crazy inventions!”

The judges appearing alongside Ruth on the engineering panel will be:

  • Jason Bradbury, UK Technology expert, 
  • Sophie Harker, IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2018 
  • John Officer, Head of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Supply Chain, GSK 
  • Vijay Shah, an aerospace engineer

The Competition is pleased to welcome back broadcaster and author Dallas Campbell and Head Stemette and co-founder of STEMettes, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon to the science judging panel. 

Anne-Marie, said: “I judged The Big Bang Competition last year and was blown away by the quality, range and ingenuity of projects that was presented. It’s so important to allow young people to see the creativity and altruism in science – it was all on display at The Fair. I can’t wait to see this year’s finalists in March.”

Joining Dallas and Anne-Marie on the science panel of judges are Karen Mullen, Vice President and Country Medical Director, UK and Ireland at GSK, Imogen Napper, a marine scientist researching plastic pollution, and a National Geographic Explorer, and Bobby Seagull, TV personality, author and teacher.

This year’s Competition received over 850 project entries via regional and online heats – volunteer judges from industry and academia review and provide feedback before shortlisting to around 200 projects that will be showcased at The Fair. The students at The Fair will have the chance to share their passion, the creativity behind the project idea and desired outcome for how their idea will make a difference before being shortlisted further. 

The students behind the exceptional projects will have the chance to impress the judges in a ‘Dragons-Den’ style interview, who will be quizzed from across Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories. The process will decide the GSK UK Young Scientist and GSK UK Young Engineer of the Year 2020.

The VIP panels take part in the final round of judging, starting on Thursday 12 March 2020 and The Big Bang Fair takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 11 to 14 March 2020. Book free tickets to The Fair here.

The Big Bang programme brings classroom learning to life for young people, celebrating their achievements and inspiring them to consider a future in STEM. It comprises The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition and Big Bang Near Me. 

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition aims to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and provide them with the opportunity to build their skills and confidence in project-based work.  

EngineeringUK is a not-for-profit organisation, which works in partnership with the engineering community to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and increase the talent pipeline into engineering. EngineeringUK leads engagement programmes The Big Bang and Tomorrow’s Engineers, creates inspiring engineering careers resources and produces a body of research including the flagship State of Engineering report.

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