Published: 29 May 2024

From: Business and economy

Around 4,000 children, parents and grandparents enjoyed a spectacular day at STEM in the Park on 18 May in ֱ’s Memorial Gardens celebrating science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The aim of STEM In The Park is to engage all ages in STEM activities by utilising teamwork, creativity and having fun while learning. The event was supported by employers from various STEM industries and local businesses and organisations offering more than 65 different STEM experiences for the community to enjoy.

Numerous highlights included an inaugural visit from Ardingly and Ifield Community Colleges' educational STEM Bus. Visitors could step aboard to engage in activities like learning how a Van de Graaff generator operates and watching a robotic arm pick up blocks. The new science shows captivated the audience with mesmerising magic tricks, mathematical marvels and fascinating objects of wonder. Additionally, the popular planetarium shows offered a taste of space exploration, transporting visitors into the solar system to learn about stars, galaxies and everything space-related.

More than 30 exhibitors from industries including construction, engineering, aviation, healthcare, environmental and geoscience supported the event, offering vital careers information to young people and parents on varied opportunities available. There was something for all ages, including experimenting with energy waves using a ‘Sound-Bite’ machine and LEGO Seismometer, discovering the importance of effective handwashing using an ultra violet light box and learning about the power of vacuum with various bell jar demonstrations using apples and marshmallows. Children donned VR headsets to experience the thrill of swimming with some of the ocean’s largest animals, and much more!

Young people were thrilled to navigate a drone through a challenging obstacle course and learn about modern drone technology applications. London Gatwick’s engineering team enabled children to power an airfield lighting rig and build bridges with snap circuits. ֱ College and the new Sussex and Surrey Institute of Technology enticed young visitors onto the park bandstand with hands-on fun with robots, games and virtual reality and extended STEM activities were taking place at the college STEM Centre across the road.

Results from a survey conducted on the day found that 98 per cent of children said they would return.
 

STEM in the Park is always a fantastic, free event and this year was no exception. It was wonderful to see so many young people engaged in STEM activities.

My thanks go to all the exhibitors, local businesses, STEM Ambassadors, London Gatwick and The STEM Hub.
 

Councillor Atif Nawaz

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development

ֱ Borough Council

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