Youngsters hoping to blind judges with science

Schools competed to win the title of STEM Champions

The scientists and engineers of tomorrow have been out to impress the judges in a bid to win their schools £1,000.

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

Louis Purdon, 12, and James Burford, 15, from Hodgson with Jill Overland from Cuadrilla.

They are vying for the title of STEM Champions of the Year as part of The Gazette’s Young Engineers 2017 compeition, sponsored by Cuadrilla Resources and Centrica.

The winning school wil receive £1,000 with two runners up pocketing £500 each.

The competition, organised in association with Blackpool and the Fylde College, is open to pupils aged 13 to 15 and aims to provide an engaging way to get youngsters invovled in the 

The schools that took part were: Baines, Carr Hill, Hodgson, Kirkham Grammar, Millfield, Montgomery, St Mary’s, St Bedes and South Shore Academy.

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 in a bid to prove they were the best.

The judging panel included  Jill Overland, head of finance and IT at Cuadrilla, and Centrica UK’s shale manager, Martin York, as well as representatives from The Gazette and Blackpool and The Fylde College.

Jill said: “It has been a thoroughly enjoyable, although challenging, task being a judge.

“I was so impressed by the hard work and input of the children and bowled over by their sheer enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge.

“I am sure we have seen some future engineers and scientists here today.”

The winning school and runners up will be announced at the Young Engineers qualifying event at the college’s Advanced Technology Centre on Friday February 3 – when more than 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 go through to the final on March 3, when they will compete for the £10,000 first prize.

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