On Saturday 15th March, Talent 2030 travelled up to the NEC in Birmingham to take part in the Big Bang Fair, the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people.

Talent 2030 held a National Engineering Competition for Girls, the competition was split into two age categories, 11-14 and 15-18 years, the girls were asked to answer How can engineers solve the challenges of the 21st Century? we were overwhelmed with the fantastic entries this year and invited all shortlisted entrants to the Big Bang Fair to showcase their projects on their own Talent 2030 stand.

Thea Krumins was the winner of her 11-14 age category and took part in this year’s Big Bang Fair with her own Talent 2030 stand. We wanted to hear about her personal experience at this massive event and find out what the competition and taking part in the fair meant for her…

I was absolutely thrilled when I heard that I had won the National Engineering Competition for Girls in my age category. I had thoroughly enjoyed writing my entry as it had allowed me to apply many of the concepts that I had learned in school to try to solve a problem that I felt passionate about. It gave me a broader understanding as to what real world problems engineers face when designing new products.

I had to research many aspects of my idea and alter my design because of it. Since my project was on solar desalination I have learnt a lot more about water supply, treatments, PH levels and purity issues as a result. Making a display for the big bang science fair also made me work out how to simplify my ideas and improve my design so that they were more easily understood. However it was hard to compete with the many other displays at the Big Bang Fair.

I loved attending the Big Bang Fair, but we did have to get up very early to catch the 6.30 train to Birmingham from Euston to arrive on time which was quite tiring. It was great to arrive before the fair was open as I was able to meet the other competition finalists and look at their presentations. Since the entry topic was so broad, everyone had been able to focus on something that they were interested in. It was fascinating to see what everyone had done for their project. I was particularly interested in the project on creating an app to translate sign language. I thought that it was a very clever idea and I wondered why no-one had thought of it before. I was also interested in the project on treating autoimmune diseases because it was a branch of engineering that I had not considered when I was deciding what I wanted to do for my project.

Luckily I only had the booth for the morning so that I was able pack up my display and look around the fair in the afternoon. There were some amazing displays, fascinating machines and lots of experiments to try.My friends were impressed by a display where you could make lip gloss and we all enjoyed watching a computer, with a lot of smart phones, solving Rubik’s Cubes in world record times.

I was inspired by the National Engineering Competition for Girls and the Big Bang Fair to continue to enter Science and Engineering competitions in the future. On the train back to London I was already trying to think of other things to invent!