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    Young Innovators celebrate their success

    May 26, 2017
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    Young Innovators celebrate their success

    School pupils from Bracknell Forest and Wokingham wowed judges with their creativity in a competition organised by 3M to inspire the next generation of original thinkers.

    Young Innovators celebrate their success

    School pupils from Bracknell Forest and Wokingham wowed judges with their creativity in a competition organised by 3M to inspire the next generation of original thinkers.

    Young Innovators celebrate their success

    School pupils from Bracknell Forest and Wokingham wowed judges with their creativity in a competition organised by 3M to inspire the next generation of original thinkers.

    • Winners of the fiercely contested 3M Young Innovators Challenge were presented with prizes by Dr Philip Lee, Conservative parliamentary candidate, at a special awards ceremony held at 3M’s head office in Bracknell on 25 May. Amazon gift vouchers worth £50 were given to the winning students and their school won £750 worth of educational equipment.

      Harleen Rait, aged 10, from Meadow Vale Primary School was the overall winner in the Eco Tech Primary Challenge - to make a functioning musical instrument from recycled material -and the Recycle Crew, made up of William Anderson, Tillie Lewis Clarke, Evie Cumberbatch and Jodie Hughes from The Pines Primary School, was highly commended.

      Harleen created a tumbi, a traditional North Indian string instrument, using a broom handle, an empty hair gel pot and metal string. Said Harleen: “I got the idea for making a tumbi from watching a YouTube video and had three attempts before coming up with the final version. I really enjoyed the project and the experience of coming to 3M.”

      The winning team in the Canyon Crossing Challenge, to design and build a bridge from a specified list of materials that can carry up to 12 kg while minimising the weight of construction, was Team Super Hughes, also from Meadow Vale Primary School.

      Team members and sisters Helena, eight, and nine-year-old Sofia Hughes, designed a suspension bridge made from cardboard tubes and covered with decoupage. Sofia said: “It was fun to do a project at home and we did a lot of research into different types of bridges to find the strongest and lightest.”

      Helena added: “To test that it would hold the weight, we got our sister Nina, who is five, to hang from it. It was nerve wracking when the judges hung weights from the bridge and when it didn’t break, I was so relieved that I cried.”

      For the Tower Tech secondary school challenge, Eco Buddies – made up of Ella Azzopardi and Abbie-Louise Chapman, aged 13 and 12 from Ranelagh School – created a three-part, free-standing tower designed to maximise slenderness and load capacity and minimise total mass.

      Abbie said: “We were inspired by the woods outside Ella’s house and created our tower using Pringle tubes, a pop corn tub and Lego bricks and figures representing ourselves. We were nervous doing the presentation, but confident that our tower would take the weights as we had worked out the calculations.”

      In this category, La Resistance, a team made up of George Castle, Oliver Warren, James Castle, Daniel Whitsed and William Dack from Year 10 at Ranelagh School, and Delta Theta - Harrison Reed, Joshua Amar, Daniel Willett, Oliver Maynard and Craig Murtagh-Clarke - from Year 10 at Garth Hill College, were highly commended.

      In the Eco Tech secondary school challenge, teams were asked to design and construct a functioning item of furniture for a child using only recycled or sustainable materials.

      The winning team, Ranelagh Reclaimers from Ranelagh School and was made up of Stephanie Barter, Hannah Bennett, Seline Crowe, Isabella Myers and Phoebe Walker from years 8 and 9. They created a desk in the shape of a giraffe, complete with hosepipe tail and school scarf.

      Said Hannah, 13: “It was a real team effort and we all contributed. We tried out lots of variations before coming up with the final version and did our market research by visiting a primary school. It took us 52 hours to complete and was a lot of fun.”

      The highly commended entries in this category were Baby Bed – created by team members Nathan Gilbert-Hunter and Shane Culley from Year 7 at St Crispin’s School – and Beats and Seats, the work of Kyran Bird, James Slaughter, Carl Stevens, Molly Bird and Ellie Walters from Year 9 at Kennel Lane School.

      The winners were chosen from 37 teams, made up of a total of 119 students from 11 primary and secondary schools across the Bracknell Forest and Wokingham districts, who took part in the contest and presented their entries to the judges at 3M’s head office in Bracknell in April.

      Presenting the prizes on the night, Dr Lee said: “3M plays an active role contributing to STEM development within the local community and I’m pleased to be here celebrating the potential of young people. STEM is important for the future of our country and I encourage you all to use your talents to make a difference in the world.”

      Guest speaker at the event was Sarah Atkinson, vice-president of software company CA Technologies and a former journalist with more than 20 years’ international experience. Sarah is a passionate advocate for equality and diversity in the workplace and encouraging more women into STEM careers.

      She said: “I’ve been really impressed with the talent on show tonight. The STEM skills gap is one of our biggest challenges and it’s great to see so many young people take part in the competition. Our challenge now is to keep them engaged as they move through the education system.”

      The competition was created by 3M to inspire pupils to consider future careers based on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths and to develop their creativity, confidence, team-working and organisational skills and was supported by Learning to Work.

      During the awards evening, visitors had the chance to see the finalists’ work for themselves and chat to the pupils.

      Janine Moorby-Lewis is a Year 5 teacher from The Pines primary school. She commented: “The competition created a lot of interest and excitement at our school and we put forward two teams. I set up an after school club to give the children time to create a working musical instrument and although I gave them some guidance, they did all the work themselves, having a lot of fun along the way.”

      Find out more about the Young Innovators Challenge

      Watch this YouTube video

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