Year 9 – The Bright Ideas Challenge

Year 9 students crowned winners of national schools’ science competition

This term, three of our year nine students – Manu, Torin and Marlon  – have fought off tough competition from hundreds of schools across the UK to win the school £5,000 and be crowned national winners of Shell’s, The Bright Ideas Challenge.

This cross-curricular schools’ competition invites teams of students to come up with innovative solutions that could one day power our future cities.

By 2070, it’s estimated there will be around 10 billion people on the planet, with demand for energy set to double. Therefore, it is essential that we find new ways to produce more sustainable energy. This year, the Bright Ideas Challenge tasked students to use their STEM knowledge and problem-solving skills to imagine innovative solutions for making future cities clean, efficient, vibrant places to live, work and play.

This is our third year taking part in the challenge; we’ve been regional winners the past few years, but the boys excelled this time. The team was invited to compete in the VIP STEM experience at Imperial College London, where they built a prototype of their idea and competed against the 12 other regional winners before being crowned national champions!

We’d like to say a huge well done to the boys for all their hard work, effort and dedication! It was brilliant to see Manu, Torin and Marlon working together to bring their idea to life. It was a tough competition with some really inventive concepts including powering gyms through kinetic energy, creating hydropower from rivers through man-made waterfalls, harnessing the heat energy of windmills using thermoelectric generators, and an energy capturing car coating inspired by the naturally occurring chemical reactions within the Oriental Hornet bee. However, the boys’ idea really shone through and after the science communications workshop, they were announced national champions by Shell’s STEM Education ambassador, Rachel Riley.

There was a real buzz, and everyone involved had lots of fun. It was an excellent opportunity for us as a school to demonstrate our creativity and passion for STEM. What we will be able to offer both in lessons and through extra-curricular activities will now be further enhanced by the £5,000 the boys won which we will invest in STEM equipment.

Well done Manu, Torin and Marlon – national champions for 2019! We look forward to getting more of our students involved and seeing what’s in store for the 2020 competition!