Thursday, 30 June 2016

Post 427 - Blown-away by Brilliant Big Bang Fair

Me at my stand at the Big Bang Fair in Doncaster
Hey everyone, Post 427 today and I've lots to catch up on as it's been quite a busy time for me in June with 30 Days Wild, National Insect Week and another fabulous event that I want to tell you about today.

This year I started at secondary school which is great. Lots of new friends and lessons on all sorts of subjects that we didn't do in much detail at primary school - it is so different and really great. As you might have guessed I was really looking forward to science lessons and I got talking quite early in the year with one of my science teachers about my blog. They were really impressed and they told me about a thing called the Crest Awards run by the British Science Association. Well Mum, Dad and school looked into this and told them about my project and it was good enough to get a Silver Crest Award.

Telling Teachers and students about my blog!
That was unexpected and pretty awesome but it gets better. The award meant that I could enter my blog as a project in the Big Bang Fair in Doncaster which I was at on Tuesday. There are lots of them all around the country and if your project is judged to be a good one you could get to go to the finals. I didn't know until the day either there are a lot of awards at these events which projects can win.

So before the event Dad and I went through a lot of my photos and picked some which we thought we going to be good for a display and made a few slides to explain a bit about what my blog was about and got it all printed up. We headed to Doncaster which is pretty much at the other end of Yorkshire to us so I got permission from school to be off Monday & Tuesday so I could get there in good time (and visit a few reserves around there - more on that soon).

The event was in a massive hall at Doncaster Racecourse. There were stands on all sorts of things like engineering, maths and science. I had a go on some great stands demonstrating how Virtual Reality headsets are used for all sorts of things. I didn't do very well at welding as I was a bit small to see what I was doing properly! There were some great science demonstrations going on too, there was a mini planetarium, and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust was there too. Saying that there was a lot less about nature and biology than the other sciences.

Talking about the Hoverfly
One of the main bits of course was that there were lots of schools along that were demonstrating science projects that they had been working on. There were schools from all over Yorkshire, secondary schools and grammar schools, and pupils of all ages from 12-18. There was only one other project that wasn't a team project and I was the only nature based project.

I got my stand set up and I was really pleased with it, it looked great. The photos really helped to get people interested and it was great to tell people about my blog and my passion for nature. I had lots of interest. I took a couple of things out of interest too like my Golden Ringed Dragonfly exuvia and my hoverfly larvae. I'd taken the hoverfly larvae only because it had started to pupate and I was worried it would emerge while I was away. On the way down I'd noticed there was another larvae in the pot which must have come from the vegetation we put in with aphids to feed the first one. Anyway the pupa opened up and the hoverfly emerged on the morning of the fair! What timing! So that was really a good prop for me to show the life cycle of an insect!
Talking about the lifecycle of dragonflies!

Well after a busy day telling lots of school children and judges about my blog I packed up the display and went off to the closing event which was where I'd find out if I had got a place in the finals. Well to cut a long story short I'm off to the finals in Birmingham in March next year!

That was great news! But it got better. I also won the award for the best Crest Silver Project. I was pretty amazed at that! Then it got better still, the last award was the ACE Communicator Award for the person or project that communicated their project and a passion for their subject the best. I was doubly surprised and amazed when they read my name out for that one too.

The awards - I`m still blown away by it all!
An amazing day but the best bit of course was telling people all about nature and how important it is to look after it. Nearly everyone thought the dragonfly exuvia and hoverfly were cool! I had some great discussions with people that had got a bit of an interest in nature but were a bit shy about it as their friends weren't really into it. I hope I showed them that doesn't really matter and that there are other people around - like them - who do care and think it's cool, it sometimes just takes a while for us to all find each other!

So all in all a fantastic day.

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Great to read this inspiring account. Good luck Z

  2. That's fantastic well done!

    I've only just recently started reading your blog after Springwatch! It's great to see your enthusiasm and knowledge :)

  3. Fantastic stuff Zach :) Richly deserved awards and you are going to be a massive voice in the protection of our wildlife and environment in the future.We need more people like you :)

  4. Awesome Zach, looks like you had a great time Zach! - Tasha

  5. You have a great blog Zach. Love it! Your bats are awesome - lots where i live but no photos yet! Ive just started blogging so early days for me. Will post fortnightly but i think i should try to post more like you. Do you suggest 'short and often' ? Trying to increase my viewers!

    1. Hi there, that's hard to say. I think short interesting posts reasonably often works well as people don't have to take too long to read them and are then likely to read the next ones. Good luck with it :-)

  6. Thanks for all the nice messages everyone. I'm looking forward to the finals in March!