Crawley students win major science awards

Students from Hazelwick School with their stand
Students from Hazelwick School with their stand

Students from two Crawley schools have won prizes at the national finals of the Big Bang UK Young Scientist and Engineers’ Competition.

The Crawley teams performed extremely well to come out on top at the prestigious event. They gained their place in the finals by winning the heats last June at the Big Bang Fair South East, organised by STEM Sussex as part of Crawley STEMfest.

The team of boys from St Wilfrid’s Catholic School won the Intermediate Engineering category of the Big Bang Competition, which was held from 14-17 March at the NEC in Birmingham.

The winning project ‘Mindmote’, entered by Rushil Patel, Benjamin Piggott, Aaron Erickson and Darren Da Silva, involved developing a device for the less mobile to control common household appliances with brain waves.

The Hazelwick team, funded by STEMfest sponsorship, won the Environment Prize and were runners up in the Intermediate Engineering category for their project ‘SKD Stealth Air’. Shivam Patel, Kirshen Mistry and Duvarakan Gunaratnam, created a drone to help them investigate the air quality in the local area.

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “I was delighted to hear that Crawley schools won prizes at the Big Bang Competition. The success of the two teams will help to motivate and inspire other students to participate and gain the incredible experience that STEM offers in the future. A very well done to the two teams!”

Chief Judge of the Big Bang Fair South East, Margaret Ajibode, Obatec Ltd, said: “As Chief Judge, I have had the privilege of seeing the talent of our young people go from strength to strength. The projects completed by the winning teams have huge potential to make a real impact on people’s lives and go to show how following a STEM path can be rewarding and innovative.”

Reacting to the win, Michael Ferry, headteacher at St Wilfrid’s, said: “The students’ talents have been recognised, not just as young engineers but as people with intellectual curiosity, high levels of motivation and a desire to make a difference.

“The excitement and passion to continue with their work is truly inspiring, not only to students across the school but to the staff as well.”

To enter projects worked on at school, STEM Club or home, to the Big Bang Fair South East 2018 heats, go to www.stemsussex.co.uk or email bigbangse@brighton.ac.uk for more information.