National Sci-Tech Challenge 2017

Year 10 High Flyer students were privileged to explore a school-centred energy challenge presented by ambassadors of ExxonMobil. Students were competing for one of five places in a team to represent The Hamble School at the second stage of the National Sci-Tech Challenge 2017. The skills demonstrated, and the scientific ideas proposed by teams, made the decision of who should successfully gain one of the coveted places on our team even more difficult.

Mr Knight was proud to take Alfie Baxter, Ella Beattie-Edwards, Gemma Elliott, Kacper Kowalczyk and Jasmine Pickering forwards as the team to represent The Hamble School at the Novotel Hotel, Southampton. Competing against seven other schools local to Fawley and Leatherhead refineries, our students were presented with an energy challenge. This Challenge invited students to consider strategies that could realistically minimise the impact of greenhouse gases within 40 years and maximise the use of technologies currently available in novel ways.

National Sci-Tech Challenge 2017

Having been set a series of deadlines, our team of students embraced the challenge and started to decide a plan of action, thereby developing their time management and communication skills. Throughout the planning stages, the team meticulously researched alternative public transport of the future (such as light rail trams, or LRTs) and how the team could capitalise on the power of government to maximise use of public transport. Suggestions included levying tax on petrol for public transport to lower cost of a bus ticket, for example, and increasing petrol taxes to gain revenue. Other developments to infrastructure were also explored.

The competition from other schools was equally as fierce, with other schools exploring how to adapt the mechanics, design or engineering of a vehicle to maximise energy use. When it came to presenting their concept, our students delivered a compelling project fulfilling the criteria presented to them. It was rewarding for our students to be praised by other schools for their ideas and presentation skills and our students represented The Hamble School with outstanding flair. This has set the bar exceptionally high for students competing in 2018. Well done, Team Hamble.

Having presented their concepts, students were able to relax and reflect on their efforts whilst watching Eddie Henbury of ExxonMobil demonstrating a wide range of engaging and invigorating STEM experiments. Examples include using a Rubens’ tube to model sound, creating a fire tornado in a mesh bin, collapsing a metal flask, creating a methane flame-thrower and exploring firework colours through salts.

The students came away from the day feeling proud of what they had achieved and inspired to consider a career in STEM. We want to thank ExxonMobil for continuing to invest in our students’ futures, with particular thanks to James Leatt-Hayter for supporting our students in their mission throughout the day, as well as to J Stock Photography for the photographs used within.