St Albans pupil in final for national science competition

Loreto College on Upper Lattimore Road

Loreto College on Upper Lattimore Road - Credit: Archant

A budding engineer studying in St Albans will compete alongside other teenagers in the final of a national science competition.

Susan McKendry is through to the final of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition, which will be held in 2019.

She was a winner of the regional heats in Northern Ireland with her project entitled Magic Marbles.

Studying the properties of liquid and gas marbles, Susan researched how droplets behave in hydrophobic particles - these are molecules which do not have a negative or positive charge.

The Year 13 student at Loreto College, a Catholic secondary school on Hatfield Road, is in with a chance of receiving the title of UK Young Engineer and GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year.

Chief executive of EngineeringUK, Mark Titterington, said Susan really impressed the judges: “It is a huge achievement to progress to this stage of the competition and Susan should be incredibly proud to take up her place and compete at The Big Bang Fair in March.”

Going into its 11th year, the contest’s final is taking place at Birmingham’s NEC in March 2019.

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He added: “The Big Bang Fair continues to be a great source of STEM inspiration for young people, representing an amazing opportunity for young visitors, their teachers and parents to get hands-on with a wide range of activities, workshops and shows, and engage in meaningful career conversations with professionals, all designed to bring classroom learning to life and inspire the next generation.”

Prizes includes £2,000 for GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year and £2,000 for UK Young Engineer of the Year.

Runners up are also competing for £750 and £250.

Projects from pupils in Year 7 to Year 13 are eligible for the competition, which are judged on concept, process, outcome, and personal skills.

Judging experts include co-founder of STEMettes Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, broadcasters Dallas Campbell and Rick Edwards, and The Shard engineer Roma Agrawal.

Having grown from 6,500 visitors in 2009 to more than 70,000 in 2017, The Big Bang Fair is a collaborative effort of more than 200 organisations.