1. Judges wowed by young innovators
3M Energy
  • Share

    Judges wowed by young innovators

    May 17, 2018
    Share
    Background Background Background

    Judges wowed by young innovators

    3M Young Innovators Challenge judges have been impressed with the high standard of work presented to them by some 700 school pupils from the Berkshire and Loughborough areas.

    Judges wowed by young innovators

    3M Young Innovators Challenge judges have been impressed with the high standard of work presented to them by some 700 school pupils from the Berkshire and Loughborough areas.

    Judges wowed by young innovators

    3M Young Innovators Challenge judges have been impressed with the high standard of work presented to them by some 700 school pupils from the Berkshire and Loughborough areas.

    • The Young Innovators Challenge is designed to inspire the next generation of original thinkers and encourage pupils to consider careers based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. This year the challenge had an engineering theme to reflect 2018 being designated the Year of Engineering by the UK Government.

      More than 200 pupils from 16 primary and secondary schools competed in four science and engineering challenges at 3M Centre in Bracknell, including building towers and bridges with minimum weight and maximum load; creating musical instruments from recycled products to explore vibration, pitch and tone; and making a product to improve the lives of children with visual impairments.

      Meanwhile, in Loughborough, a total of 145 teams entered six categories, including the ever-popular Science Detectives Challenge and two new primary school categories, Cargo Carrier and Slo-Mo Marble challenges. They presented their work to judges at Loughborough’s new Charnwood Campus site.

      The Slo-Mo Marble Challenge, to design and build a marble run that maximises the time taken by a standard glass ball to roll from the top to the bottom, proved the most popular of all with 47 entries. Judith Payne, STEM manager for Leicestershire Education Business Company, had the difficult task of judging this Challenge alongside 3M engineer, Aisling Bradley.

      Judith said: “We were impressed with the huge variety and quality of entries. It was obvious that the pupils had really enjoyed investigating material properties, friction and gradient in the design of their runs. As well as STEM learning, fantastic team work shone through.”

      Dr Alessandro Palmeri and Dr Mariateresa Lombardo from Loughborough University’s School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering judged the Tower Tech Challenge at Loughborough and were presented with some creative entries modelled on planet Jupiter, a lighthouse and Big Ben.

      Loughborough’s Eco Tech Secondary challenge was also fiercely contested, with entries including a braille brooch and a sit-on fire truck toy complete with built-in drum kit.

      One of the judges was June Murray, principal of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) College in Loughborough. She commented: “It’s clear that the students had put in a remarkable amount of research to understand the needs of young blind and partially sighted people. Many of their creations were superbly creative and genuinely useful or fun ideas.”

      For the Bracknell Eco Tech Challenge, 3M’s Neale Griffiths was joined by Tom Conlin, chief executive officer of Berkshire Vision, to judge some innovative entries including a game of Scrabble using braille tiles, a fidget pillow and an easy eat tray.

      Said Tom: “We were impressed by the breadth of ideas and innovation. The candidates clearly put a lot of thought into their entries, coming up with ideas that could make a real difference to a visually impaired person.”

      Neale added: “All the children embraced the challenge with enthusiasm and a couple of the entries were outstanding. Most importantly, they learnt a lot and had fun.”

      Also in Bracknell, Dawn Thompson from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board joined 3M Technical manager Sarah Chapman to judge the Primary Canyon Crossing Challenge.

      Sarah said: “We were impressed with all the entries, which demonstrated a strong understanding of strength to weight ratios. One bridge was painted in two halves to represent the world as it is now and how the pupils from The Pines Primary School want to see it in the future. Their sentiment was that we only have one world, so we need to look after it. This made our day.”

      The judges are now making their final decisions before the presentation evenings. These will be held on 24 May in Bracknell and on 15 June at Loughborough College, with MP Nicky Morgan presenting the prizes and certificates.



      FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CHALLENGES