Duo’s sparkling effort earns them an award

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Two Morpeth schoolboys got a taste of university life after winning a prestigious prize at the Big Bang North East Science Fair.

Ben Waugh and Harrison Smart fought off competition from students across the region to receive the University of Bradford Robotic Telescopic Prize for Practical Science.

Chantry Middle School pupils Harrison Smart from Longhorsley (left) and Ben Waugh from Guidepost investigated the ingredients of homemade toothpaste.

Chantry Middle School pupils Harrison Smart from Longhorsley (left) and Ben Waugh from Guidepost investigated the ingredients of homemade toothpaste.

The Year 8 students at Chantry Middle School and Technology College had to present their work – titled ‘Investigating the Ingredients in Homemade Toothpaste’ – to an audience of professional scientists and engineers, who were impressed by the quality of their investigation and confident delivery.

The pair used readily available ingredients to prepare a toothpaste that worked just as effectively as leading brands, but at a fraction of the cost.

The prize normally includes a sponsored trip to China, but unfortunately the Chinese sponsor withdrew their support shortly before the two 12-year-olds were due to travel.

By way of consolation, the University of Bradford invited them on an all-expenses paid residential trip. The three days included activities in its state-of-the-art STEM Centre, a campus treasure hunt and evening trips to local leisure facilities such as a bowling alley.

Steven Johnson, head of school at Chantry, said: “We are very grateful to the university for hosting Ben and Harrison.

“We are very proud that their outstanding efforts have been recognised and wish them the best of luck for March, as their work has been short-listed for the National Science and Engineering Competition finals.”