Bright boys: bright ideas!

QE has been named the regional winner in a new national competition involving skills in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

A Year 8 team won the South East Regional Award in The Bright Ideas Challenge by coming up with creative solutions to the energy challenges that cities are likely to face in 2050.

Viren Patel, Eeshan Banerjee, Thomas Mgbor and Deshram Ganeshamoorthy each won a tablet computer as well as £1,500 in the competition, which is run by energy company Shell. They will now go on to compete for the national award.

By 2050, the global population is predicted to be nine billion – almost two billion more people than today – and three-quarters are likely to live in cities. For the competition, secondary school pupils aged 11-14 were invited to identify an energy challenge that a city might face in the future and then devise a creative solution.

""The QE team looked at supplying clean sustainable renewable energy in the form of biogas. Competition organisers say this idea could promote a better quality of life for future city-dwellers by recycling the carbon dioxide produced by burning biogas and using it to feed algae that has been genetically modified to photosynthesise more efficiently.

The four have been invited to visit Make the Future London, a four-day festival of innovation being hosted by Shell at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, during which the regional winners’ ideas will be showcased and the national winner announced.

The QE winners were congratulated by the School’s Head of Technology, Sheila Patel, who organised their entry, and by Sarah Westcott, Head of Lower School Science. Dr Westcott said: “Competitions such as the Bright Ideas Challenge help to reinforce the relevance of what our boys learn in the classroom. We are delighted that the QE team performed so well in the Regional round and wish them every success in the final at Make the Future London.”

""At the festival, students will also explore energy ideas brought to life through a series of Science shows, hands-on activities and careers experiences. And they will get a chance to watch the Shell Eco-marathon – a competition that sees thousands of STEM students from across Europe take part in an energy efficiency challenge, competing in ultra-efficient, self-designed cars of the future. The winners are the teams that go the furthest on the least amount of fuel.

Anna Haslam, Head of Social Investment at Shell said: “It’s the possibility of a great idea that can change lives which inspires every engineer and scientist to keep on investigating, keep on researching and keep on pushing new boundaries. And that’s exactly the opportunity Shell wants to give to secondary school students through The Bright Ideas Challenge – to inspire them to become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.”