Four budding scientists from St Benedict’s school have recently attended The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, to compete in the finals of The Big Bang Competition.
The Big Bang Fair is the UK’s largest celebration of science & engineering for young people. The competition recognises and rewards student’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), whilst providing them with the opportunity to build their skills and confidence in project-based work.
The St Benedict’s students started their project as part of the NuGEN Bright Sparks programme, and were sponsored by NuGEN when they entered the competition through the online heats.
Finalists compete for over £20,000 worth of amazing prizes, including top and runner-up prizes in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories for science and engineering.
St Benedict’s project had to be based around low carbon energy, and their ‘Fuels for School’ project developed from that. The project tied in with the school’s move to a new building as part of Campus Whitehaven and looked at how the school could have heat and electricity provided by low carbon energy in order to help combat climate change.
The students have gained so much from this project in terms of team work, presenting skills, budgeting and planning, as well as developing a greater understanding of the subject. The students have had a chance to spend longer focussing on one specific issue and learning about it in much more depth.
Phoebe Reid, one of the students who attended commented:
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Big Bang Fair. It allowed me to discover a range of job opportunities and different careers pathways. It also helped me to develop and learn new life skills.”
India Warneford commented:
“The recent trip I took to the Big Bang Fair was an exceptional once in a life time opportunity, I would only wish to experience again. Not only did I have lots of fun there, it was very educational and I learned a great deal. The competition was hard, as you’d expect at the country’s science competition finals. But winning didn’t matter because the experience we had was so much more meaningful in comparison to the luxuries of winning.”
“I think that the school should do this trip every year and many more groups should be entered because the Big Bang Fair isn’t something you just forget, it is a very memorable opportunity.”
Mrs Kelso, Assistant Headteacher and Subject Leader for Science commented:
“We have been very kindly supported by STEM ambassadors from Sellafield as we refined our project for the final. Whilst we didn’t win on the day, we did have a fantastic time looking at all the other projects our peers had been working on and the STEM activities and careers guidance.”
Mrs Kelso went on to say:
“I am very proud of the professionalism and independence I’ve seen the students develop over the course of the project. I was very proud to accompany them to the Big Bang Fair and watch them showcase their work to over 70 thousand people.”
“We have attained a silver CREST Award with this project and I look forward to seeing what fantastic ideas the students come up with to go for their gold award.”