Future scientists up to challenge

The scientists and engineers of tomorrow have been out to impress the judges in a bid to win their school a share of a £2,000 prize fund.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 1:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 1:30 pm
The teams hard at work

Teams from nine Fylde Coast secondary schools showed off their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) knowledge at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

They were vying for the title of The Gazette Stem Champions of the Year 2018, with the winning school receiving £1,000 and two runners up each pocketing £500.

The competition is sponsored by Cuadrilla Resources and Centrica, in association with Blackpool and The Fylde College.

The schools taking part were AKS, Baines School, Garstang Academy, Hodgson Academy, Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College, Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, Montgomery High School, South Shore Academy and St Bede’s Catholic High School.

The Stem Champions challenge showcased the work carried out throughout the academic year, including at after-school clubs.

Each school mounted displays and was represented by a small team of pupils who gave short presentations and then answered judges’ questions. The judging panel included Cuadrilla head of finance and IT Jill Overland, Centrica UK shale manager Martin York, Blackpool and the Fylde College head of engineering Mandy Pritchard and Johnston Press promotions and events manager Sue Bentley.

Martin said: “All the children made excellent presentations and were a credit to themselves and their schools.

“The level of creativity and enthusiasm speaks volumes for the achievements and attitude of all those involved.”

Jill added: “It has been an extremely enjoyable task being a judge of the STEM Champions competition once again.

“Every year the standard keeps improving, which makes the judging quite challenging but very rewarding.

“I was also delighted to see the enthusiasm and excitement of the students, who have put so much hard work into their STEM projects.

“From what I’ve seen, I’m sure there are some future scientists and engineers who have taken part in this year’s competition.”

The Stem Champions event is part of The Gazette’s Young Engineers 2018 challenge which carries a huge £10,000 prize pot.

The challenge is open to Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre school pupils, aged 13-15 and aims to encourage the engineers and scientists of the future.

The Stem Champions will be announced at the Young Engineers qualifying event at the College’s Advanced Technology Centre on Friday, when up to 20 secondary schools will be presented with a ‘blind’ challenge during the day which will test all their STEM abilities.

The top 10 teams go through to the final on March 2, where they will hope to claim the £10,000 top