Buchan academy scoops £1,500 in national science competition

Team Smart Parks from Mintlaw: Lexie Burnett, Emma Anderson, Connor Galloway and Anastasija Kurnevica.
Team Smart Parks from Mintlaw: Lexie Burnett, Emma Anderson, Connor Galloway and Anastasija Kurnevica.

A team of four S2 pupils from Mintlaw Academy has fought off tough competition from hundreds of schools across the UK to become winners for the North of Scotland in Shell’s annual national schools’ science competition, The Bright Ideas Challenge.

The challenge seeks to inspire young people about the role they can play in shaping a brighter future. It askes young people aged 11 to 14 to address the complex energy challenges of the future and imagine innovative solutions for making our future cities clean, efficient, vibrant places to live, work and play.

In their entries students are asked to demonstrate their understanding and application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and ability to combine this with creative problem solving and team work.

With 16.4 percent of people in the world using cars as part of their daily lives. Team Smart Sparks from Mintlaw Academy looked for a way to make cars in future cities rely on renewable sources of energy.

The team’s innovative solution was a new wind and light-powered hybrid car that would be powered by a solar panel integrated into the car’s roof and a miniature wind turbine that would sit at the front of the car’s engine.

Together, these smart features would create energy that would be stored in a generator and released as needed.

The team’s idea was singled out for its simple, cost-effective way of reinventing a mode of transport that many future city inhabitants will continue to rely on.

The winning team’s bright idea won them £1,500 to boost the STEM learning experience at their school, plus a VIP trip to Make the Future Live, Shell’s four-day festival of innovation in London, taking place at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in July.

Lexie Burnett from the winning team said: “Imagining the kinds of challenges that will be faced by the cities we will live in when we’re adults has really helped bring our science lessons to life.

“It’s made us think about taking science further and using those skills to help create innovative solutions that will make life easier and better for everyone in the future.

“We’re really excited to have won such a great prize for our school and are looking forward to seeing lots more interesting new energy ideas in London.”