SCHOOLCHILDREN have been experiencing the excitement of science and engineering.

The colourful Big Bang event at the University of Brighton’s Huxley Building featured stands by local companies, universities and colleges and other organisations in the science, technology, engineering and maths sector.

Nick Rouse from Ovesco, a renewable energy company, was especially inspired by the response to his table of gizmos, one of which demonstrated how to generate energy in space.

He said: “We’ve had a good dozen this morning who might become engineers.

“It’s a great career. I wish more children, especially girls, would get involved.”

A farm simulator at the Plumpton College stand was swamped by students wanting to try “driving” a tractor.

Jodie Chamberlain, the college’s liaison co-ordinator, said: “The farming and technology involved in the land-based sector is on a par with Formula 1, so when you say that, they open up to all the roles available.”

The Ready Steady Science’s Cracking the Code: The Genetics of Superheroes show used comic book mutants to explore the possibility of using genetics to make us superhuman.

The Big Bang event was organised by Stem Sussex from the University of Brighton. Jo Mckinney-Green, StemSussex operations manager, said: “Addressing the Stem skills gap is a priority for businesses in the Brighton area.”

The day was arranged as part of a four-year programme to encourage more young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, into higher education.

Rachel Day, Project Coordinator for STEM Sussex, said teachers looked at how different careers relate to the classroom.

She said: “I have really enjoyed seeing how much the kids have loved being here.

“They realise how important STEM is in a wider variety of skills, there are more opportunities than they instinctively thought.”

It is hoped that a third of current year 10 students will to go into these industries.