Teachers and students from four local schools topped the bill when TV maths legend Johnny Ball – father of Radio 2’s new Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball – judged Colnbrook based Lakeside Energy from Waste’s (EfW) competition for up and coming scientists and technologists.
Along with Colnbrook with Poyle Councillor Dexter Smith – Johnny was supporting 4 teams of 6 students – as they competed in a special, 12 week competition sponsored by the Prince of Wales – and managed by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT).
Johnny’s theme was that “across history, scientists are the people who, over time, have solved problems and changed the world”.
During the 12 week project, each school was supported by a Lakeside or Grundon mentor as they created projects, designed and built models and an exhibition stand and made a formal presentation to the assessors.
Guest speaker Fiona Tice, Talent and Development Director for Heathrow, kicked off the day in the LKS EfW Education Centre – with a fascinating insight in to the world of employment at Heathrow. The company employs around 75,000 people with a very wide range of job opportunities – and the students on the EDT programme are all potential candidates for some of those jobs.
Locally based Grundon Waste Management has supported the 12-week Go4SET programme for two years. The programme is focused on encouraging Year 8 - 9 students to think about how studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) could lead to careers in subjects as diverse as engineering and fashion design – and robotics and hair dressing – as well as resource management.
The practical projects were real challenges and encouraged students to focus on developing practical skills, which addressed real issues in their own schools.
The all-girls team from Dedworth Middle School, Windsor, won the prize for the Best Overall Project, as they sought and identified ways to save energy around their school. They involved all the students in an energy survey and put posters around the school with the results. An energy audit – complete with thermal images – identified where energy was being wasted – and a model showed how LED lights around the building could save energy. A special assembly is planned to keep all the students involved and informed.
Smiling students from Dedworth Middle School pose in the Lakeside Education Centre as they receive their trophy cup. This was awarded at the grand finale of the Engineering Development Trust’s 12 week Industrial Cadets programme. The students are accompanied by Neil Grundon, Deputy Chairman, local celebrity Johnny Ball and Adam Hanley, their LKS mentor.
Langley Academy students took a completely different approach to recycling and evaluated the pros and cons of three different recycling projects. They eventually settled on designing and manufacturing plastic bottle collection bins using a 3D printing machine. Each school house bin would have a different brand to reflect the house focus.
The Langley Academy team pose at their display stand, accompanied by local celebrity Johnny Ball, their teacher Milly Winch, Grundon mentor Rai Noor and Neil Grundon, Grundon Deputy Chairman.
Slough & Eton CE Business & Enterprise College quickly realised that this project wasn’t going to be as easy as they had first thought. They focused their project around making their main school hall more energy efficient. They investigated a wide range of options and eventually settled on a combination of changes, including a false ceiling, underfloor heating, plastic windows and rigid foam insulation.
Students from Slough and Eton school proudly stand in front of their display stand at the Lakeside EfW Education Centre. They are supported by (L to R), their teacher Philippa Lewis, Grundon Deputy Chairman Neil Grundon, local celebrity Johnny Ball and their team mentor Ean Baalham from Lakeside.
Windsor-based Trevelyan School’s “Plastic Fighters” project was the Students Choice Project, for its focus on reducing the use of plastic bottles in school, by designing a drinks dispenser. This idea is currently being discussed by the Schools Parliament and the Eco Club.
The Trevelyan School “Plastic Fighters” team show off their individual awards for winning the Students Choice Award at the Industrial Cadets sponsored Celebration and Awards Day at the Lakeside EfW Education Centre. They are supported by Grundon Deputy Chairman Neil Grundon and local celebrity Johnny Ball.
In his second year as an independent assessor, Slough Councillor Dexter Smith was again impressed by the time and effort put in by all the students, teachers, mentors – and the other assessors.
“All the students really bought in to the idea of being able to make a real, practical difference to both reducing energy wastage and increasing recycling in their schools. This is exactly the attitude we need if we are to change behaviour – and save money.
“Grundon, Viridor and Lakeside Energy from Waste remain really committed to promoting this type of behavioural change and environmental responsibility.”
Each participating school also received an EDT Certificate (a registration card providing access to an exclusive network), a lapel badge and a signed copy of Johnny Ball’s most recent book, Wonders Beyond Numbers.