Crawley pupils impress judges with science ideas

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Students from two Crawley schools have won top awards at the South East’s biggest science fair for young people.

Hazelwick students William Allgar, Reece Barton, Gavin Fish, Aaron Lewis and Andrew Woods, all aged 17, won the Thales Prize for Coding at the Big Bang Fair South East fair for their project ‘Measuring Angular Acceleration’.

Meanwhile 15 year olds from St Wilfrid’s Catholic College, Gina Ardines, Vienna Cooper and Naina Trivedi, won the CGG Prize for Mathematics and an award for Data Analysis.

They were also named runners-up in the Intermediate/Senior Science category in the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition.

The Hazelwick team were tasked with creating a device which would sit on an industrial airline’s flight simulator and measure the rotational acceleration of the simulator.

Judges said they were a ‘very enthusiastic team’, and that their project was ‘well-presented and structured’. They added that the team had shown ‘a very good understanding of coding’.

Chief judge Margaret Ajibode said: “The students were very passionate about what they have been doing. Every year, the quality of the entries improves.”

Award sponsor Thales global technology leader in the aerospace, defence, transport, security and space industries.

With a base in Crawley, it is committed to developing future talent and working to further STEM education.

Eve Maywood education and outreach manager said: “At Thales we really enjoy being part of this event as it allows us to engage with a large number of young people from across the county.

“Events like this are vital as they allow young people to learn more about the opportunities that are available to them and where their qualifications could lead them in the future.”

The St Wilfrid’s trio submitted a project called ‘The Effects of Music on School Students’, in which they looked at different types of music and its effect on heart-rates and discussed whether music could be used in treating anxiety.

Judges described their work as ‘superb’ and said it had potential for further development, adding that the girls had shown “excellent teamwork and planning.”

Crawley-based CGG, a leader in cutting-edge geoscience, has been the headline sponsor of the Big Bang Fair South East for five years.

Processing Group Manager Sharon Howe, who presented the CGG Prize, said: “It’s wonderful to see how students start out with an idea, make connections and present results using skills that will last them for a lifetime.”

The fifth annual Big Bang Fair South East and the regional Big Bang Young Scientists and Engineers Competition were organised by STEM Sussex, the outreach support department of the University of Brighton.