Students from West Lakes Academy have won first place in a schools’ science and engineering competition organised by Sellafield Ltd. The team of six year 9 students from the Egremont academy fought off competition from three other local school teams to win £1000 to attend the Big Bang Science Fair in Birmingham next month. The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for young people in the UK.

Students were set the task of designing a bridge set in a local town to a specific budget and within a time frame, while considering environmental and building costs. Each team had six members who all had their own job roles to consider.

Hugo Graham, a science teacher at West Lakes Academy commented, “The purpose of the competition and the science fair in Birmingham is to inspire, engage and challenge pupils and to open their eyes to the possibilities of a career in STEM. I’m over the moon about how well our pupils did. They thoroughly deserved it, they worked really hard, the teamwork was exceptional and they had fun in the process. They’re looking forward to what comes next. I’m so pleased that these opportunities exist, and that Sellafield was able to put on this competition.”

Luke Pae said, “I found the event really enjoyable, it taught us how to use our education in a practical setting. Having the opportunity to attend the Big Bang Fair next month is really exciting, I’m looking forward to taking part in such a large scale event.”

Christina Smith added, “The team worked together really well, we each had our own clear roles and this helped us to work more efficiently. There was some strong competition from the other teams but the design of our bridge ensured it was strong and sturdy and we also took into account safety features. We were really shocked and happy that we won.”


The winning team were: Sasha Shaw, Benedict McLoughlin, Daniel Huddart, Christina Smith, Imy Marsh and Luke Pae