Weeks of hard work, both last year and also this year, ended with a trip to the NEC Birmingham and an entry in to the very prestigious Big Bang Final for the prize of Young Engineers of the Year for 3 of our brightest year 10 scientists: Grace Allsop, Lucy Cooper and Shaiann Calliste.
They were welcomed on the Tuesday evening with a short science show. We were treated to the showing of the inside of one of the presenters’ oesophagus, stomach and small intestine, what happens when you fart to produce the sound, using electricity to control someone’s reactions and how to take a 360 degree photo. There was also some sound advice for our girls on how to best present their project in order to try and win. The pressure was on.
Shaiann, Lucy and Grace completed the Go4SET competition last year where they chose to design a sports arena. Their ideas were big. They decided to design a whole Olympic Park in Japan.
Their design had several interesting features, the most innovative being their cost model and the way they had used mathematics to work out how much their model would actually cost to build and where the funding would come from.
Other interesting features of the model included making it “earthquake proof”. To show this to judges and other people at the Big Bang Fair we made a model that people could stand on whilst they were shook like in an earthquake. The model showed that when foundations contain pneumatic dampers these can decrease the amount of shaking in the building – so it does not collapse in earthquake (of which are common in Japan). The earthquake model was so popular with visitors at the fair that they queued up to “ride the earthquake” – and the wheels on the model wore down due to the friction of shaking the model! The girls also made their stand interactive by running a competition to name the individual arenas in order to win a chocolate goody bag. Chocolate seemed a good way to draw in the crowds. 5 lucky winners won the goody bags after successfully naming the arenas on both Wednesday and Thursday.
The girls presented their model to the judges early on Wednesday morning. They were enthusiastic and confident and did themselves and the Holgate Academy proud. They showed off all of the features of their model, showing how they had worked hard to improve the model from last year. Lucy showed off her excellent 3D computer model of the Olympic Park, Grace fully explained the costing model and Shaiann talked about the use of an off grid power system and how the park was made earthquake proof.
With the nerve-wracking presenting work done they were then able to relax and enjoy the rest of the experience. Or so they thought. With so many people wanting to ride the earthquake model, all girls ended up with bruised knees and aching arms. Now at the end of the two days, they are shattered!
Thursday ended with the Big Bang Winners’ Ceremony, with lots of amazing budding young scientists winning prizes for their projects. Unfortunately, Grace, Shaiann and Lucy did not win one of the big prizes but did come away with a Big Bang medal and the experience of being a finalist at the Big Bang Fair, which I hope will be a brilliant memory for them.