Winners of the hotly contested 3M Young Innovators Challenge were presented with their prizes by managing director for 3M’s North Europe Region, Irfan Malik, at a celebration event held in Bracknell in June.
The finalists attended the event at 3M’s head office in Cain Road to showcase their creations in the competition designed to shine a light on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning.
182 pupils from 17 Bracknell and Wokingham schools reached the judging stages of four challenges, the Mighty Monument Challenge and Slo-Mo Marble Challenge for primary schools and the Fragile Freight Challenge and VizTech Challenge for secondary schools.
The winners of each challenge received £750 for their school to buy science and engineering equipment and all students earned a British Science Association CREST Award.
The Mighty Monument Challenge to design a lightweight free-standing structure, supporting as much load as possible up to a maximum of 5kg, was judged by Ajay Sharman from STEM Learning and 3M application engineering manager, Sarah Chapman.
The winning entry, inspired by the Skydeck Chicago Willis Tower, was designed by the Happy Doughnuts team from Crowthorne Church of England Primary School. They impressed judges with their understanding of structures and forces, the quality of their presentation and impressive teamwork.
The Slo-Mo Marble Challenge was judged by Dawn Thompson from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and 3M application engineer, Andy Fish.
This challenged pupils to create a marble run using friction, gradient and centrifugal force to slow the descent of their marbles. Team Sky Run from Rivermead Primary School in Woodley created a skyscraper-themed marble run that got top marks from the judges.
For the secondary school Fragile Freight Challenge, students were asked to solve a problem faced by communities in Nepal who grow produce on high mountain terrain and need to transport it, without damage, to a market below.
Judges Richard Putland, a process engineer from Wood plc, and 3M engineer Daniel Morgan chose Tri-Guys from Ranelagh School as the worthy winners for their versatile design, impressive presentation and solid display of engineering skills.
Charlotte Rampton from the charity Berkshire Vision and 3M engineer, John Wright, judged the VizTech Challenge, aligned to the Design and Technology curriculum. Students had to design and construct a sensory toy or product to make an everyday task easier for a young person with sight loss.
TEAm Coffee from Garth Hill College in Bracknell were the worthy winners with a design to help visually impaired people enjoy a cuppa in their favourite mug - an idea inspired by solid research.
Congratulating all the competitors and winners, Irfan Malik said: “We hope that the 3M Young Innovators Challenge has created a spark in your minds that will inspire you to study STEM subjects and join a company like ours one day; to not only enjoy a good career for yourselves, but to make a difference and do some good for the planet.
“Taking part is about so much more than winning. It is about science, of course, but also about networking, teamwork and building confidence.”