As part of the Institute of Acoustics’ ongoing public outreach efforts, I volunteered to be part of a group of Acoustics and Audio Engineers from various organizations at the Big Bang Fair South East (BBF-SE), held over 26th & 27th June 2019.
Big Bang South East is organized by STEM Sussex, the University of Brighton’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) outreach department, which aims to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the various avenues and career possibilities in the fields of Science and Engineering, by allowing students to interact with professionals and experts in the various fields.
The fair also serves as a very useful avenue for us, currently working in these areas, to showcase the broadband (and very cool) nature of the work we do.
As part of the IOA cohort, our main aim was to make students aware of the multi-disciplinary nature of the field of acoustics, noise and vibration, with applications in everything from making the tiny loudspeakers on your mobile phone sound ‘good’ to isolating entire, very-large buildings from underground trains and the associated noise.
Some fun demos involving ConfusaPhones were also at hand to demonstrate how human hearing and sound localization works. The IOA table also showcased and demonstrated the various tools-of-the-trade, including sound level meters, geophones/vibration monitoring devices, AudioTalkboxes and Head-and-Torso Simulators – as expected, all these gadgets, including our home-made and brilliant ConfusaPhones (made by Vicky Stewart), were very well received.
All in all, attending BBF was a great experience and particularly rewarding to talk to students about something I am very passionate about and we were hopefully able to do our bit in inspiring the next generation of Acousticians and Audio Engineers.
Further details regarding the event itself, the IOA’s involvement and also a little video montage of the events are available on the IOA website at this link – https://www.ioa.org.uk/sharing-sound-experiences-big-bang-south-east