School scientists make a big bang

Members of the three Newminster Middle School groups that will represent the North East at a national science fair in Birmingham next year. Front - Left to right -Edward Syndercombe; Ben Ferstenberg; Finn Farthing; Sam Monery. 'Back - Left to right - Emma Allison; Fran Adamson; Sarah Larby; Kirsty Lang; Neve Gascoigne.

Members of the three Newminster Middle School groups that will represent the North East at a national science fair in Birmingham next year. Front - Left to right -Edward Syndercombe; Ben Ferstenberg; Finn Farthing; Sam Monery. 'Back - Left to right - Emma Allison; Fran Adamson; Sarah Larby; Kirsty Lang; Neve Gascoigne.

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BRIGHT sparks from a Morpeth school managed to qualify for a national fair.

Three of Newminster Middle School and Technology College’s ten teams were nominated by the judges at the Big Bang North East event in Durham to represent the region at the National Science and Engineering Competition in Birmingham next year.

Schools were asked to submit projects covering science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as part of efforts to develop children’s skills in these subjects.

Alina Noshin, Emma Allison and Neve Gascoigne put together an innovative scheme to find out which shampoos strengthen hair the most. As well as going through to the national stage, they were runner-up in the CREST bronze category.

Also qualifying were members of the school’s Climate Crew environmental group — Fran Adamson, Sarah Larby and Kirsty Lang — who chose to investigate the best conditions to grow plants for its wildlife garden.

Edward Syndercombe, Ben Ferstenberg, Finn Farthing and Sam Monery were the other successful students. They investigated the synthesis of aspirin, which they carried out as part of a STEM club run through specialist school funding.

Science teacher and Climate Crew Leader Gillian Whitmell said: “Not only did the pupils work extremely hard on their projects, but they were interviewed by at least six sets of judges at the Big Bang fair to ensure they were of a sufficiently high standard to be nominated to attend the national event next year.”