The Thomas Hardye School

Thomas Hardye students aiming for the top in Science and Engineering Awards

Lawrence Whatley & Genoveva Esteban
Lawrence Whatley & Genoveva Esteban

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Three students from The Thomas Hardye School are hoping for success after winning places in the National Science and Engineering Competition. The finals take place at The Big Bang: UK Scientists’ and Engineers’ Fair, one of the country’s biggest celebrations of science and engineering, to be held at ICC, London ExCeL 10-12 March. Students from schools across the UK were given the chance to enter the highly prestigious competition.

Alexandra Burden from Year 13 worked with Nick Tomlinson and the RSPB at Radipole, investigating bat activity, Lawrence Whatley (also of Year 13) worked with Dr Genoveva Esteban of Queen Mary University, London, at the East Stoke River Laboratory investigating Cryptic Biodiversity in Wet Fens – both carried out their Nuffield Bursary projects in their summer holiday last year. Abigail Davies, now at Liverpool University, worked with Jim Nicholson from Atlas Elektronik and Tom Hearing investigating Seismic Waves recorded on the school’s seismometer (provided by The British Geological Survey ) during her final year at the school. Former Thomas Hardye student Tom, was an overall winner of Young Scientist at last year’s Fair. All three finalists have been awarded CREST Gold Awards for their projects.

Abigail Davies & Jim Nicholson
Abigail Davies & Jim Nicholson

Alexandra said “This is a brilliant competition as it encourages young people to think about science and engineering in a different light, as they can be exciting and rewarding. I’m delighted to have got through to the National Science & Engineering Competition finals and look forward to heading to The Big Bang.”

In addition, five pupils will represent the Fossil STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) Club at the show, which is expected to attract 25,000 visitors. Judith Wardlaw, Industry Partnership Development Manager for the school, said: "The Fossil STEM Club is one of 17 selected from 89 applications, to be part of the National Big Bang Fair.”

Five students - Katie Holmes from Year 13, Jon Bartlett and Rob Baird from Year 12, Sophie Kendall-Price from Year 11 and Akanksha Kiran from Year 10 - have been selected as representatives and will experience this extraordinary opportunity.

Judith added "It’s a great reward for all their hard work and for the help given by many keen experts since its inception. The fossil club is a cornerstone for the school’s UNESCO Associated School activities. We have links with the nearby Jurassic Coast Education Coordinator, Dr Anjana Ford and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team." Thomas Hardye School is also a specialist Science College.

Alex Burden & Nick Tomlinson
Alex Burden & Nick Tomlinson

And the successes don’t stop with the students. The youngsters will travel up to London, accompanied by Judith Wardlaw and club leader and biology teacher Dr Jeremy Rowe. Dr Rowe has been selected as one of 5 finalists for the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Teachers Award. The overall winner of this will also be announced at the Big Bang Fair. Over 70 nominations were received and judges had a very hard job whittling them down to the 5 finalists, as the overall quality of nominations was extremely high.  This prize is open to any UK teacher who teaches or supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) lessons in and out of school/college from primary to top end secondary.

March 2011