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    Scientists and engineers of the future celebrate

    June 26, 2017
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    Scientists and engineers of the future celebrate

    MP Nicky Morgan was guest of honour at the grand final of the 2017 3M Young Innovators Challenge held at Loughborough College on 23 June.

    Scientists and engineers of the future celebrate

    MP Nicky Morgan was guest of honour at the grand final of the 2017 3M Young Innovators Challenge held at Loughborough College on 23 June.

    Scientists and engineers of the future celebrate

    MP Nicky Morgan was guest of honour at the grand final of the 2017 3M Young Innovators Challenge held at Loughborough College on 23 June.

    • The 2017 3M Young Innovators Challenge attracted 145 entries, with a total of 486 pupils and students from 36 different schools in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire taking part.

      The aim of the annual competition, which is run in partnership with the Loughborough Echo, is to encourage and inspire young people to study the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths at school and beyond.

      Speaking about the challenge, Nicky Morgan said: “As we are leaving the European Union, it is more important than ever before to ensure that young people have the right skills to support future economic growth in the UK and ensure that our industries can successfully compete on a global scale.

      “As the former Education Secretary, I recognise that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are key to this. I am delighted to support the 3M Young Innovators Challenge as it encourages young people to take an interest in these subjects at school through a series of fun and exciting challenges, is directly addressing the skills gap and supporting our future workforce.”

      Mrs Morgan presented awards to the winners of each category on the night. Amazon gift vouchers worth £50 were given to the winning students and their school won £750 worth of educational equipment. In addition, all students who took part qualified for a British Science Association CREST award.

      The winner in the fiercely contested 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 Frederico Salcedo from Year 5 at Brookside Primary School in East Leake.

      Frederico’s bridge was incredibly strong and remarkable light and used a minimalist design, reinforced at the centre point, to enable it to carry more than 200 times its own weight.

      In this category, the Carillon Bridge team from Loughborough Church of England Primary School, made up of Year 5 pupils Joshua Weaver, Joshua Nicholls, Evan Sinfield, Carwyn Allum and Anna Wakley, and the Amazing Flagged Bridge builders from St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary school in Quorn - Lydia Lazou, Lucy Chadwick, Dylan Read and Frida from Year 3 - were highly commended.

      New for 2017 was the Tower Tech Challenge, to design a structure maximising slenderness and load capacity and minimising total mass, and the winning team was Poseptune’s Quindent from De Lisle College in Loughborough.

      Year 8 students Gaby King and Ruth Millman created an attractive mythological tower design, based on Neptune’s trident, that demonstrated a high degree of engineering intuition to achieve a slender, yet strong structure.

      In this category, a highly commended award was given to the Titanic Tower team, made up of Amber King, Amelie Golesworthy, Jess Penlington and Poppy Maynard-Smith from Years 8 and 9 at Brookvale High School in Groby.

      The Super Food Challenge was open to both primary and secondary schools and explored the science behind different foods from around the world.

      In the primary school category, the winning team was Tutti Frutti Pizza. Year 5 pupils Fran, Lily-Mae and Olivia from St Bartholomew’s created a Jamaican-inspired fruit pizza that delivered high nutritional value and came in strongly branded packaging.

      The judges also highly commended the Triple Tropical Treats team, Year 6 pupils Ben Hollingsworth, Isaac Gee, Harry and Brayden Elverson from Belvoirdale Primary school in Coalville; the Chocacado team, Ruby, Harriet, Lucy, Olivia and Josie from Year 5 at Grace Dieu Manor School, Thringstone; and Year 6 pupil Lauren Adkins from Griffydam Primary School in Coalville

      In the secondary school category, the winning team was the Twisted Tacos from Our Lady’s Convent School in Loughborough. Year 7 students Libby Hearst, Lucie Badburn and Daisy Shore created spicy Mexican tacos and a guacamole dip that delivered a punch as well as health benefits.

      Highly commended entries in this category were Ricchezza Biscotti, made up of Rebecca Noon, Rebecca Tomlinson and Kate Yeomans, Year 9 students at Ivanhoe College, Ashby-de-la-Zouch; PineAball, Year 9 pupils Jack Merriman and Jack Pearson from Castle Rock High School; and Mexican Snack Pack, Sadie Longhurst, Seth Jager, Ed Jager and Morgan Rowland, Year 9 students from Ivanhoe College.

      After a talk on ‘The Science of Light’ by Dr Sian Williams from the School of Science at Loughborough University, the remaining prizes were presented.

      In the Eco Tech Challenge for primary school children - to make a functioning musical instrument from recycled material – the Lightning Lives On team from St Paul’s Primary School in Woodhouse Eaves took the top award.

      Year 5 pupils James Westmacott and Archie Tarry made an attractive guitar with interesting attention to detail that demonstrated good evidence of STEM learning.

      Highly commended entries in the category came from the Recyklon team, made up of Year 5 pupils Juri Reidenbach, Maya Bursill and Chloe Tziatziafi from Mountfields Lodge Primary School in Loughborough; and Alyssia Gill, a Year 4 pupil from Fairfield Preparatory School in Loughborough.

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

      In this category, the winning team was the Puppet Show Den Desk created by Year 8 students Ruby Webster and Darci Hunt from Ivanhoe College. Their highly original product made from wooden spoons, planks and a duvet cover showcased excellent design development and an awareness of health and safety and also earned the girls a Silver CREST award.

      Paminder Nagra and Charlotte Green, Year 10 students from Our Lady’s Convent School, were highly commended for their standing desk and organiser.

      For the ever popular and extremely competitive Science Detectives Challenge, the 3M team worked with the Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University to develop a mysterious car crash scenario.

      A team of Year 10 students from Loughborough Grammar School, Matthew Drury, Sam France, Tom Frankland and Tom Williams, proved to be the best detectives and scooped the top prize. Highly commended awards went to Team KEVII, Year 10 students Oliver Billings, Joel Macdonald, Shelby Wright and Abigail Knifton from King Edward VII Science and Sport College in Coalville; and Ivanhoe Investigators Mhairi McGrath, Zara Platts, Keira Pagett, Alice Hall and Amelia Bithell from Year 8.

      This year, 61 per cent of participants were girls. 3M Reputation Communications manager Rosalind Smith said: “We’re delighted that the number of entries from girls has increased again. This is particularly appropriate to highlight today as it is International Women in Engineering Day. This focuses attention on the amazing careers in engineering and technical roles available – and we’ve certainly seen the work of female engineers of the future in some of our challenges.”

      The awards evening was attended by more than 250 students, parents and teachers as well as a number of the judges.

      Said 3M Communications and Visual Identity Manager Julie Owen: “We had fantastic support from our panel of judges, made up of 3M STEM ambassadors, Chris Bishop and Aisling Bradley, together with representatives from Lacerta Technology, the Greencore Group and Leicestershire Education Business Company. In addition, we are grateful to Dr Alessandro Palmeri and Dr Mariateresa Lombardo from Loughborough University for their enthusiasm creating the new Tower Tech challenge and Callum Crane for putting together this year’s Science Detectives scenario.”

      Speaking about the competition, Tracy Moore, a Year 6 teacher from Griffydam Primary School, said: “This project was excellent for helping children to think beyond the curriculum and gave them some much needed creative freedom.”

      Added Nick Schober, a Year 9 teacher from Castle Rock High School: “The students couldn’t stop talking and thinking about the science challenge and chose to spend their lunchtimes and after school hours completing the challenge.”

      See the judging in action