The TSBE Centre Reading Science Week started with a Big Bang on Thursday and Friday when their placement student James Berger, from Reading Blue Coat School, reached the finals of the prestigious National Science + Engineering Competition. The finals were held at the Big Bang Science Fair in London, the UK’s largest celebration of Science and Engineering for young people which attracts around 56,000 visitors, and was opened by Vince Cable. James carried out his work on “The Effect of Bat Roost Pollutants on Breathable Roofing Membranes” at the TSBE Centre during the summer holidays supervised by TSBE Centre researcher Stacey Waring and Dr. Emmanuel Essah from the School of Construction Management.
Although James did not win one of the big prizes, the judges gave him very positive feedback on the high quality of his work, its relevance to real life and his enthusiasm for the project. James said “This has been a fantastic experience. I have learnt so much and really enjoyed the event, the number of visitors was incredible. The support from the University of Reading and my supervisors has been brilliant and it was inspiring to work alongside real scientists and engineers”.
Commenting on the event, Vince Cable said: “Science and engineering are central to economic recovery and growth and so we need to ensure there is a good supply of talented people to meet future demand. That’s why government supports a range of work to encourage more people to consider careers in these fields, including engagement in schools, apprenticeships and events like the Big Bang Fair.”