Plan your visit

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

The Big Bang Fair aims to show young people aged 7 to 19 the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life.

  Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 March 2019

  Halls 17-20 at the NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT

  Wednesday to Friday: 9.30 am – 4 pm
      Saturday: 9 am – 4.30 pm

  Book your free ticket – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday now sold out, Saturday tickets still available

  Download our visitor guide (includes a map and schedule) to plan your day and get the most out of The Fair


Why attend?

The Fair is free, and it gives young people the chance to try out over 100 hands-on activities, see dozens of mind-boggling shows, hear from inspiring engineers and scientists from some of the UK’s biggest companies and find out about the opportunities available in STEM.

Download this information letter to share with your headteacher, colleagues and parents

About registration

All visitors must book their free tickets before arriving at the Fair. Register here

Please be aware that on Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 March, under 7s are not permitted to attend. Under 7s are welcome to visit on Saturday 16 March.

If you need any assistance with your booking please contact The Ticket Factory.

Changes to your booking?

You will be able to edit or delete you booking via the registration website. You will be asked for your registration ID which looks like this: BBF-XXXXXXX and can be found in your visitor confirmation email.

What can you see and do?

The Big Bang Fair engages and inspires young people through interactive and engaging activities, workshops and shows.

  • There will be a large exhibition floor designed to encourage a journey of discovery through the event.
  • Many of the stands will feature working scientists and engineers, all available to answer any questions that young people have about jobs and careers.
  • There will also be timed theatre shows and workshops. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

See a list of the latest activities, shows and workshops (more activities are added all the time, so please do check back)

Find out more about what happens in the Careers Cabin. Note that every young person will be given a Big Bang Challenge pack when they enter The Fair, have a look at our pre-Fair and post-Fair lesson plans to help visitors get the most out of their day.

Download our visitor guide (includes a map and schedule) to plan your day and get the most out of The Fair

School resources for before and after The Fair


Each young visitor will be given a Big Bang Challenge pack as part of registration – there is a primary school version and a secondary school version. The Challenge is a series of fun tasks to complete throughout the day, like: collecting stickers, finding activities that help people/create things/use technology, taking a career quiz to identify jobs that might suit you, or speaking to an engineer to try and guess their job.

To support the Big Bang Challenge and to ensure students get the most out of The Fair we have created pre-Fair and post-Fair lesson plans for both primary and secondary school classes, encouraging young people to explore the world of STEM and the exciting careers that exist within it.

Download the resources below:

Practical information

Getting there

The NEC is the UK’s most accessible venue for exhibitions and events. It’s easily accessible by road and public transport. More details including special offers are available on the NEC website.

See how to get to the NEC


The car park cost £12 per day when booked in advance and £16 if paid for on the day. Coach parking is £20 per day.

Read more about parking at the NEC

Lunch options

Picnic areas are available if bringing packed lunches. If you plan to buy your lunch at The Fair, there are numerous options for hot and cold meals. We would recommend visitors bringing £10 if purchasing lunch.


Cloakrooms are available and charged at £1 per item. The halls can become quite hot when busy, so coats are not required. All activities are hands-on, so we recommend using a rucksack to keep your hands free!


The Big Bang Fair and NEC aim to be accessible for all.

Find out more about facilities at the NEC

If you would like to talk to a member of the team about specific requirements for your group, please contact

Health and safety

The health and safety of our visitors is a priority. The Big Bang Fair works in conjunction with the NEC and independent health and safety advisers to ensure that all aspects of The Fair are managed safely.

View full details of our health and safety arrangements

Download the full Visiting School Risk Assessment

Photography and filming

At the Fair, we will have official photographers who are permitted to capture images for marketing purposes. You can opt young persons in your group out of photography when booking your tickets. Please be aware it is a public event and many visitors will have their own cameras and smart phones.

Read our photography terms and conditions

Contact us

We are happy to advise group leaders who are planning or booking a visit. Please email with your query and we will respond to you within 48 hours.

The usual working hours of the team are 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays.