Girl power is top of the class at one Lancashire high school.
An all-female team from Ripley St Thomas CE Academy fought off tough competition from hundreds of entries across the UK to be crowned regional winners in The Bright Ideas Challenge, Shell’s national schools’ science competition.
The competition asked 11 to 14-year-olds to use their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills to come up with creative solutions for powering future cities to cope with the projected growing demands of 2050.
The winning Year Nine team from the Lancaster school, Junior Masterminds, comprised Sarah Robinson, Rosie Park and Hannah Trimnell .
Their idea was to create mini hydro-electric systems that could be installed in drain pipes across future cities.
Energy would be created as water moved through pipes, with the systems installed in internal heating and waste pipes and outside drain pipes.
It won them £1,500 to ‘super-size’ the STEM learning experience at their school as well as a tablet computer for each team member.
The winning team members will be VIP guests at Make the Future Live, Shell’s four-day festival of ideas and innovation taking place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this week and also get to meet Rachel Riley of Countdown fame.
The girls said: “The Bright Ideas Challenge really got us thinking about the future we’ll be living in. It’s inspiring to see how the things we’ve learnt about in design and technology can change the world.
“The whole school is excited about the money we’ve won and the difference it will make to our design and technology lessons.”