The team, from The Beacon School on Picquets Way, won the 15-17 age category and also saw off competition from teams from 50 countries to pick up the overall winners’ prize of £1000 at the British International Education Association’s annual STEM challenge, which encourages students around the world to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Save Our Shores’, with pupils set the challenge of devising and building a machine to combat plastic pollution.
The Beacon team of Year 12 students Chloe Godfrey, Evie Mackenzie, James Crawford and Year 11 student Rae Sarssam, assisted by programmer Aidan Sinclair, called itself Amet Activisits, Amet being the Latin word for environment.
The pupils at the school, part of the GLF Schools multi-academy trust, impressed the judges as they designed, built and demonstrated their scientific expertise by coming up with a machine that even included mealworms to break down and degrade polystyrene particles.
Chloe Godfrey, team engineer and physicist, said: “Being part of Amet Activists was amazing! Thank you so much to the BIEA for giving us a brilliant opportunity to learn more about the condition of our oceans. Congratulations to the other finalists and a massive thank-you to the judges.”
Report writer Evie Mackenzie said being part of the winning team had been an inspiring experience.
“The competition has expanded my learning, environmental awareness and my confidence and encouraged me to pursue a STEM career with all the skills I have learnt,” she said.
“To be globally recognised is an honour and now more than ever I think competitions like this are so important to get younger people to apply their learning and expand their interest in STEM to make the differences to the world they want to see.”
The Beacon School’s subject leader for science, Thandi Banda, who also runs the school’s Young Engineers’ Club, was thrilled by the team’s success.
“Working on the project with them has been a real honour and our hope is more students take up STEM at The Beacon and experience the world of possibilities for their futures that awaits them,” she said.
“The global recognition is a true testament to their resilience and high-level problem solving skills as well as their passion for STEM.
“The team is now preparing to publish its first-ever paper in Youth STEM Journal and will be sending their report to Young Scientists Journal too as well as gaining Gold CREST Awards. Well done Amet Activists and continue to solve global problems and stay passionate about the world we live in!”
The CREST Awards programme helps students undertake STEM projects and gold is the highest to be awarded by the British Science Association’s scheme.
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