The Big Bang competition is roughly equivalent to the Irish BT Young Scientists Exhibition.
There are very many projects presented by individuals and groups over most areas of Science and Engineering. This year there were over 80,000 visitors. As president of the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) Professor Richard O'Kennedy was invited to act as a judge and to present a prize on behalf of the Forum. This involved pre-judging of over 30 projects followed by visiting selected projects, and having detailed discussions with the students involved. The quality and scope of the work presented was highly impressive ranging from the development of medical devices to advanced molecular biology.
Many students in the UK now do advanced science projects as an integral part of their A levels or Highers (Scotland). This often involves working in research establishments or Universities although many also work at home on their own project.
The recipient of the London International Youth Science Forum prize was Rose McNelly, East Norfolk Sixth Form College and her project was entitled Sequencing the Genome of the European polecat (Mustela putorius).
Rose generated highly significant results, worked in cooperation with academics and demonstrated an incredible level of knowledge on the approach she had used, the potential problems that can arise and the need for appropriate controls. She will have an ‘all-expenses- paid’ opportunity to attend the LIYSF for 2 weeks in London this summer. There she will attend lectures, seminars, workshops, will present her project and will be involved in a host of scientific visits and activities and many cultural events.