Aston Hossack, a Year 8 student from The Regis School in Bognor Regis, has been awarded the runner up prize in the junior engineering category in the finals of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition, for his project titled ‘Can my hamster power a light bulb?’
As part of the project, Aston used a hamster wheel to investigate whether a hamster could produce power.
Aston reached the UK finals of the competition having won a place in the regional Big Bang fair heats.
Over 300 young people from across the country were selected to be finalists of The Big Bang Competition, an annual contest designed to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as helping them build skills and confidence in project-based work. The finals usually take place at The Big Bang Fair each March but when that was cancelled in light of the coronavirus, the team at the Big Bang Fair asked finalists to submit a video presentation from which 50 STEM professionals with specialisms across a range of areas including astronomy, antimicrobials, health monitoring, underwater acoustics and toxicology identified the winners.
The pupil win £250 in prize money to continue on their STEM journey as well as a trophy and certificate.
The winners of GSK UK Young Engineer and GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year were announced in early April.
Previous winners have gone on to enjoy a range of other achievements on the back of their successes – including getting backing from businesses for their projects, and taking part in conference presentations to industry professionals as well as appearing on the television and radio shows to talk about their project.
Congratulating the winners, Hilary Leevers, chief executive of EngineeringUK, which organises The Big Bang Competition, said: “The judges have been blown away by the quality of entries from all the finalists – not only for their brilliant new ideas but for how eloquently they spoke about them in their videos that were submitted.
“We’ve also been really impressed with all of the students for their passion and resilience in taking part this year in spite of the hugely challenging circumstances, including some students being in self-isolation during the process. Huge congratulations to Aston whose innovative project has seen him awarded as the junior runner up in the engineering category of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition.
“It certainly bodes well for the future that the scientists, engineers and inventors of tomorrow are already producing such astute and creative project work – congratulations to all those involved.”