THOUSANDS of visitors programmed robots and made paper bridges as a college hosted a series of science workshops.

This summer saw Stanmore College host one of a number of nationwide Big Bang Near Me events, welcoming a total of 1,346 visitors from schools far and wide and aged between six and 18 years old.

A wealth of activities were available to inspire young people from all backgrounds with the potential of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Programme highlights included a BAE Systems & Royal Air Force Roadshow, The Ugly Animal Roadshow and a workshop programming robots and vehicles.

Students were also given the opportunity to speak to record-breaking sea rower Sarah Weldon via Skype as she battled the waves, and turned newspapers into solids chairs, towers and bridges in an engineering workshop.

The team at Stanmore College, led by Rena Rani and Tom Padfield, also ran a number of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) shows.

Feedback indicated that the event had been a huge success.

Kim Vale, the science coordinator at Bexley Heath Academy, said: “We had such an amazing day - the students were quite sad that we had to leave so early.

“I had not really understood just how many activities were available, truly an amazing feat of organisation.”

The Big Bang Near Me is a national programme of events designed to encourage students to get excited about STEM subjects.

Fairs across the country feature theatre shows and hands-on exhibits, and the programme now also runs workshops in schools.