Comedy night launches fifth STEMfest

The fifth annual Crawley STEMfest – the biggest celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in the region – will be officially launched next week at a special evening of science and comedy.

Crawley STEMfest 2016 will take place in schools, colleges, and the community, throughout May and June, culminating with the Big Bang Fair South East, at the South of England Showground, on 29th June.

It will be launched at the Manor Royal Comedy Night, at The Base, on 14th April, when invited guests will listen to talks from the world of science and be entertained by the unique comedy of Steve Cross.

Self-confessed geek and founder of Science Showoff, Steve gave up a career as a lab scientist and museum curator to become a comedian, and his ever-developing show “How Science Ruined My Life” is guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Crawley STEMfest 2016 aims to encourage young people to study and follow careers in STEM disciplines – and it promises to be bigger and more exciting than ever before. Dozens of events will take place in schools, colleges and in the community, culminating in the Big Bang Fair South East.

Thousands of young people, their parents and teachers will be involved in a programme of entertaining hands-on activities, workshops and interactive displays staged by scientists, engineers and technologists from the region’s companies, universities and colleges and other organisations.

A special event, STEM in the Park, at the Memorial Gardens on 14th May, will showcase careers and apprenticeships in STEM disciplines and will be open to everyone, with a ‘STEM in the Stacks’ event being held at Crawley Library for children during half term, on 1st June. 

Since the first STEMfest and Big Bang South East in 2012, the event has grown from having the participation of around 2,000 students, from fewer than 60 schools and colleges in the region, to over 7,500 students from more than 140 schools and colleges.

Crawley STEMfest 2016 is organised by STEM Sussex, the STEM outreach support department at the University of Brighton, in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Central Sussex College. Main sponsors will once again be Crawley-based CGG, the world’s leading geophysical company, with the launch and comedy night being sponsored by the Manor Royal Business Improvement District.

STEM Sussex Project Manager Jo McKinney-Green said: “Crawley STEMfest 2016 is a fun and exciting way of inspiring young people to look more closely at further studies and possible careers in STEM disciplines.

There are many highly-skilled jobs in and around Crawley, but large numbers of people currently commute to those jobs from out of town. Through Crawley STEMfest we hope to make local people aware of the training opportunities and careers in STEM disciplines that are available close to home.”

  • For further information, contact STEM Sussex, tel. 01273 641874 or email
  • Note to editors: if you would like to attend the event, or send a photographer, email

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