Young minds bring new ideas, solve existing challenges and help our society to flourish. Saturday 12 August is International Youth Day, celebrating young people and the positive impact they have on our society.

Here at the British Science Association (BSA), we are driven to support young people as they grow up, particularly as they go through the education system. We acknowledge that being young brings many challenges, and during the British Science Festival, taking place from the 5-9 September, we will explore some of these challenges.

On Tuesday 5 September, you can join us for a panel discussion as we delve into the issues associated with, ‘Being young in the age of perfection’. On TV, online and in magazines, we’re constantly bombarded with ideas of what we should look like, or the type of image we should be conforming to. This immense pressure on young people can lead to a whole range of issues, with statistics showing that three in four mental health problems start in childhood [1]. You can be part of the conversation as we talk about how we confront these challenges brought upon us by modern media, and how support young people as they grow up.

Also on the subject of youth, we discuss what really works best for young people when learning in school. On 7 September, Kevan Collins presents, ‘So you think you know what works in the classroom?’, giving you the opportunity to ask your burning questions. We all know the influence the education system has on young people as they grow up, and it can guide them way beyond academic decisions. But what really works? What needs to change? Come along to this event and find out.

Here at the BSA, we particularly focus on getting young people engaged in science technology, engineering and maths, collectively known as, ‘STEM’ subjects. We want young people to see science as an integral part of everyday life, in the same way that politics is viewed. However, many groups in society still feel pushed out of science. When questioned, large numbers of people say that "science isn't for me". This includes people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and in regards to particular fields, women. The numbers of young people embarking on further science education is lacking and the diversity of groups in science is even worse. This is something we feel needs addressing. You can join us on Tuesday 5 September for a talk, ‘Women in science: changing culture, improving diversity’, where Hilary Lappin-Scott will explore some of the barriers and challenges that young people face in STEM education.

And for those with young children for whom story time is part of their daily routine, on Tuesday 5 September, you can join Alison Pike, scientific expert on The Secret Life of 4, 5 & 6 Year Olds, as she gives some parenting tricks and tips through a selection of stories and videos.

Finally we'd just like to wish everyone a Happy International Youth Day. Let’s not lose site of the brilliant things that young minds bring to our society, and let’s continue to support today’s young people so they can make a positive impact for years to come.

For more information on the British Science Festival and to book one of over 150 FREE events, visit: