Crawley students into finals of major science competition

A photo from this year's Big Bang fair
A photo from this year's Big Bang fair

Five students from Crawley have made it through to the UK final of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition after wowing judges at the regional heats.

Two from Oriel High School (Daniel Clark and Tyler Whiteoak, both 13), and three year 11 students from St Wilfrid’s Catholic School (Vienna Cooper, Gina Ardines and Naina Trivedi) impressed the judges with their science project, which investigates whether or not the growth of bacteria in saliva can be hindered using different wavelengths of energy.

The students will go on to join over 200 other project teams from across the UK in the finals, which take place during The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair at the Birmingham NEC, March 2017.

The Big Bang Competition is an annual contest designed to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as helping them build skills and confidence in project-based work.

The competition is open to 11-18yr olds, and gives participants the chance to compete for top prizes such as international experiences worth over £50,000 and prestigious awards such as UK Young Scientist and UK Young Engineer of the Year.

Commenting on the team’s success, Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, which organises the Competition said: “This year’s entries to The Big Bang Competition highlight how talented the UK’s young scientists and engineers are. It’s easy to see why this project has secured a place at the national finals. We’re now excited about seeing all the finalists come together at The Fair in March, where they will have the chance to impress the judges and inspire other young visitors.”

Mick Doyle, Chemistry teacher from Oriel High School said: “This project has helped the students develop technical skills and learn how to work well together as a team. The team can’t wait to show off their project again and hopes to come back from the UK finals in March with an award!”

Derek Donaldson, Subject Leader for Science from St Wilfrid’s Catholic school, said: “Having the opportunity to put theory into practice has been great fun and has given the team an idea of just how interesting a career in science could be. To be through to the national final is the icing on the cake!”

Online entries are still open until 20 November for people keen to take part. For more information visit