Students from schools in Crawley scooped several major prizes in the South East’s most prestigious science and engineering competition for young people, with two groups going on to represent the region in the national finals next March.
Pupils from Oriel High School, Hazelwick, Gatwick School and St Wilfrid’s School picked up a number of awards – including that of regional Young Scientist of the Year, at the annual Big Bang Fair South East at the South of England Showground.
Amy Tarsitano from Oriel High School was named Gatwick Airport South East’s Young Scientist of the Year for her project entitled “How do the other senses affect our perception of taste?”
The project also earned Amy the Photek Prize for Research and the University of Chichester Women in Science award. Fellow Oriel student, Tai Gordon, won the Avensys Ltd Enthusiasm Award for a project that examined the variation of striking techniques between different species of praying mantis.
Meanwhile, a team comprising Sean Murray, Toby Lawrence and Owen Webster were runners-up in the Junior Science category of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition for their project “Proximity Using Pulse.”
They will represent the region in the national finals next March, along with Year 11 students Shriya Chudasama and Chinazo Okeke from St Wilfrids, who won the West Sussex County Council Prize for Entrepreneurism and the Intermediate Engineering category in the regional heat of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition for their project “Plastic Pilot.” They impressed judges by designing a drone that could scoop plastic waste from the oceans using plastic replacement materials.
Year 9 students from Hazelwick School, won the Eurotherm by Schneider Electric Prize for Commercial Potential for their project “Lost and Found”. Matilda Noble, Alfie Matthews and Jash Limbachia developed a child tracker system that incorporated a GPS chip in a child’s clothing and a mobile phone app.
Continuing this, Year 9 students from St Wilfrid’s, Catherine Duggan-Jakes, Katelan Carter and Anneke Dodd won the Crawley Borough Council Prize for Creativity for their project “Feel the World,” in which they designed a shoe aimed at improving mobility for visually-impaired people.
Louis Hitchcock, a Year 12 student at The Gatwick School, won three awards at the annual Big Bang Fair South East, at the South of England Showground, for his project “Multiple Drone,” designed to help in fire-fighting. He was runner-up in the Intermediate category in the regional heats of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition, as well as winning the Ricardo Prize for Innovation and Technology and the ThermoFisher Scientific Prize for Innovation.
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “Each year our local students come up trumps and design award winning experiments and I’m delighted that the trend has continued this year. The Big Bang Fair South East is a vital resource in educating young people about careers in STEM subjects and I hope its popularity continues next year.”