ZEISS at The Big Bang Fair 2017
For the first time ever, ZEISS attended the UK Big Bang Young Scientists & Engineers Fair at Birmingham NEC. This is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK, attracting up to 22,000 visitors each day and even coverage on the BBC. Watch the highlights video to catch up on all the action.
From robotics and drones to engineering for theme parks – the Big Bang Fair had it all. The event aimed to show young people the exciting opportunities available within STEM, by bringing classroom learning to life. ZEISS did exactly that by offering a fully-interactive showcase of the Digital Classroom solution, featuring nine digital microscopes each connected to an iPad and large screens.
With everything from live bugs, dissections of insects and iPhone circuit boards under the microscopes, students, parents and teachers alike were “wowed” by the interactive technology that ZEISS had to offer. The large screens drew thousands of aspiring scientists to the stand, each approaching the digital classroom with interest and intrigue. One teacher commented: “It’s equipment like this which is a long term investment in creating an active classroom for years to come” and one young student commenting “I like that my friends can see what I’m looking at, we can all talk about it and share what we think”.
A traditional microscopy lesson typically involves rows of microscopes, with students individually trying to see and learn what they can. While trying to visit all the students one-by-one, it is challenging for a teacher to keep everyone engaged and included, with students often feeling disconnected from the full learning experience. However at the Big Bang, the ethos of the show recognised how students of today are used to a digitally connected world and therefore learning should reciprocate this.
A key benefit of the ZEISS Digital Classroom is that the teacher is able to move freely around the class whilst monitoring student microscope live views via their iPad. Students and teachers can also easily share their findings, take screenshots for portfolio evidence and even add annotations. All images can be shared among the network of iPads connected to the WiFi network. This allows students to be receive real-time feedback on their findings from their teachers and classmates.
The Big Bang Science Fair helped ZEISS to demonstrate to teachers how a Digital Classroom setup can help them to revolutionise the learning and teaching of STEM subjects for our scientists of tomorrow. Tom Quick from ZEISS UK commented: “The show was a fantastic experience for all involved at ZEISS, and it was extremely rewarding to see the children get so excited about science under a microscope.”