Brightest of the Bright Ideas: QE named national winners

QE has taken first prize in a new national competition aimed at developing skills in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

More than 400 teams entered The Bright Ideas Challenge. QE, who had already been named regional winners, were announced as national winners at Make the Future London. This was a four-day festival of innovation hosted by the competition’s backers, energy company Shell, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, during which the ideas of all the regional winners were showcased.

Congratulating the QE’s Team Algae to Power from Year 8, Headmaster Neil Enright said: “Competitions such as the Bright Ideas Challenge help to reinforce the relevance of what our boys learn in the classroom and show how ideas can lead to practical solutions in the real world. I am very proud of what the QE team has achieved and am delighted that their hard work and creativity has brought them this success.”

""Team members Viren Patel, Eeshan Banerjee, Thomas Mgbor and Deshram Ganeshamoorthy won £3,500 for the School to support STEM teaching. This was in addition to their prize as regional winners: a tablet computer each and £1,500 for the School.

The competition was open to pupils aged 11–14. Entrants were challenged to apply their STEM skills to devise ways of powering the cities of the future.

""The QE team looked at supplying clean sustainable renewable energy in the form of biogas, using algae growing on buildings to convert biomass into energy, producing fuel for hydrogen cars. The idea involves recycling the carbon dioxide produced by burning biogas and using it to feed algae that has been genetically modified to photosynthesise more efficiently. Competition organisers said this idea could promote a better quality of life for future city-dwellers.

During an enjoyable day at the Olympic Park, the boys were interviewed by Erik Bonino, the Chairman of Shell UK, and by Rachel Riley, mathematician and TV presenter, best known for co-presenting Countdown and The Gadget Show.  They were also photographed with both and their victory was celebrated on the Shell website.