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Success for nuclear at the National Big Bang Fair 2015

Dorothy and Teny 2 

 Photo: Nuclear Institute volunteers Dorothy Stonell and Teny Pattery explain the exciting challenges of a career in Nuclear at Big Bang 2015

The Nuclear Institute and the ECITB enjoyed four successful days promoting nuclear energy and careers in the industry to 7-19 year-olds at the National Big Bang Fair at the Birmingham NEC on 11-14 March.

The Nuclear Institute (NI), in collaboration with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), hosted an interactive  informative stand where young people were able to get hands-on by having a go at using a glove box; view and handle robotics and objects that could be used in nuclear power plants; find out about nuclear reactors by viewing the Nuclear Reactor Simulator; and discover the challenges of nuclear and other engineering construction jobs using the ECTIB’s interactive career app: ”Be a part of engineering construction.”

A glove box is a sealed transparent container with tough gloves built into the side. It is normally used to handle radioactive objects in a safe environment, but can be trickier than it looks!

Fourteen enthusiastic volunteers from the Nuclear Institute, the ECITB and the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) were available on the stand to engage the young people throughout the event's four days.

Resources that attendees could take away with them also played an important part in passing on information about nuclear. The NI distributed 7,500 copies of the booklet, 'The UK Nuclear Industry: How it works and how you can be a part of it...' at the event and the ECITB’s ‘Engineering Construction - Be Part of Britain’s Future’ also proved very popular with attendees.

NI volunteer Mark Gardiner, who travelled down from Cumbria especially to help out at the event, said:

"The Big Bang Fair is a really fun event to be at and this is actually the second year that I have volunteered to help out. It’s great to meet lots of enthusiastic and bright young minds and be able to explain and talk about all of the opportunities available in the nuclear sector for them, including long term secure jobs. It’s good to chat with them about what scientists and engineers do every day in the nuclear world and discuss career options and different routes, such as apprentice programs or university."

John Warden, CEO of the NI, visited the opening day of the exhibition and commented:

"The Big Bang is a fantastic event for children and young adults wanting to find out about science and technology. There is something for everyone and the Nuclear Institute stand is designed to give them information about the nuclear industry and have some interactive fun at the same time. We had long queues for the glovebox Jenga! This year we are collaborating with the ECITB, as  the nuclear industry will require a huge amount of engineering construction talent over the next decade to build new nuclear reactors and we want to highlight that."

David Edwards, CEO of the ECITB, also commented on the event:

"We are very pleased to be supporting the Big Bang again this year, this time in conjunction with the Nuclear Institute.  Bringing our industry alive to the next generation is a key part of our focus. It is especially good to see a wide spread of students from many different backgrounds, as well as a good many more girls. "

The Big Bang is a nationwide programme of national, regional and local events led by EngineeringUK aiming to engage and reward young minds with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) backgrounds and to build a bright future for the UK’s economy.