ORGANISERS of Malvern Science in the Park say they plan to make it an annual fixture in the district’s social calendar after more than 900 people turned up to the first event.

Hundreds of people packed into Priory Park to enjoy a day of activities designed to promote the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics - or STEM.

During the day visitors were able to enjoy activities including hunting for dinosaurs, launching mini rockets, generating electricity with pedal power, blowing giant bubbles and looking at sun spots with Worcester Astronomical Society.

Volunteer STEM ambassadors assisted with hands-on demonstrations, and fascinating science talks were delivered from the bandstand.

The day was partly organised in response to growing concerns that not enough young people are interested in STEM subjects, which could increase the skills shortage in these areas and hurt Britain’s future economic growth.

A report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills revealed 43 per cent of vacancies in STEM roles are hard to fill due to a shortage of applicants with the required skills.

The event was organised by Innovate Malvern and the local branch of the Institute of Physics with support from Malvern Hills District Council, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Malvern Town Council, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Dr Adrian Burden, managing director of Innovate Malvern, said: “Part of tackling the skills gap involves encouraging young people at an early age to discover the joys and exciting possibilities associated with science and engineering.

“This event was a trial to see how it was received and we’re delighted with the attendance and many positive messages of support we have received since. We’ve now decided we want to make this an annual event and already have organisations showing an interest in being involved.”

Cllr David Chambers, leader of Malvern Hills District Council and portfolio holder for economic development, said: "I attended Science in the Park with my two grand-daughters who thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and it’s wonderful to hear it is to become an annual event.

"Malvern is the home of scientific innovation, so it’s fitting that we lead the way in encouraging our young people to be part of the inventions and discoveries of the future.”