A MORPETH school student has won an exciting oriental experience thanks to his science skills.
Newminster Middle School and Technology College took individuals and teams to the regional section of the Big Bang Fair competition and six pupils will be attending the national event in London next March after impressing the judging panel with their detailed work.
Before then, Edward Syndercombe will be going to China as a result of winning the Shenzhen Practical Science award from the University of Bradford with his project, investigating cost-effective solar purification methods of water.
His trip will include going to a major science festival.
Joining Edward in London next year are Hannah Pape, Lisa Hunter and Chloe Spedding, who looked at which semi-permanent hair dye stayed on the longest.
They also won the regional prize for excellence in science and maths, which included a cheque for £200.
The other two students going to the capital for the event are Lucy Nevens and Maddy Syndercombe. Their project was called ‘How hardcore is your nail varnish?’
Lucy and Maddy did their work to achieve the CREST Bronze Award along with many other pupils.
Masterclasses were run by science teacher Gillian Whitmell after school and the Newminster children could choose their own topic to investigate, as long as it had a science, technology, maths or engineering (STEM) theme.
She said: “I arranged for experts to come into the masterclasses to support the young people while they were working on their projects.
“For example, Matthew Forster, Tom Earle and James Todd chose to examine how they would protect a pilot so we asked our Chairman of Governors who is an engineer, Dr Roger Vaughan, to come along for guidance and advice.
“The other projects were very diverse. Martha Taylor and Eve Brennan-Davis wanted to know which mascara is the best value for money, Chris Bell and Matty Dale were more interested in which is the best energy drink and fire retardant materials sparked the interest of Ellen Archbald, Zoe Winton and Caitlin Colbeck.
“Heavy Hearts, which monitored the effect of fear on blood pressure, was studied by Kate Walker and Rachel Hughes and they were grateful to the STEM expert for allowing them to borrow a machine to measure blood pressure. Ruby King was interested to know if preconceived ideas about a product would affect its taste so she investigated blind taste testing.
“The children have worked very hard and were successful in meeting all of the criteria to achieve the bronze award.”