Scientific ingenuity on show at Meriden

18 September 2017

Ingenuity and innovation were clearly on display at Meriden’s STEM Showcase held during National Science Week in August. 

The annual Showcase is an opportunity for students in Years 8 to 10 at Meriden to undertake a scientific experiment or design an original invention.  Demonstrating creativity, application and perseverance, this year’s exhibits ranged from innovations in robotics and environmental sustainability to an investigation of the manufacturing industry’s claims about everyday products such as orange juice, coffee and tea bags.

Experts from various fields of STEM spent time discussing the individual projects with the students before collaborating to decide on the best projects in each category. Following is an overview of the judges’ top picks.

First place in the Year 10 Investigation category was awarded to Ananya Deshpande. Ananya was interested in the ability of natural waste, such as vegetable and fruit peels, to decontaminate and improve water quality. Ananya produced a thorough investigation and found orange peels were more effective in decontaminating water contaminated with copper than banana peels. Joint second place went to Aileen Wang and Jessica Qiao. Moniq Wever was awarded Highly Commended in this category.

First place in the Years 9 and 10 Innovation category was awarded to Tilda Stafford for her invention of a moss panel building material, similar in shape to a brick, which uses moss to filter out pollution from the surrounding air. Second place was awarded to Angela Shin and Highly Commended awards went to Lily Yang and Amber Broadbent.

In the Year 9 Investigation category, first place was awarded to Glace Blomfield for her investigation into the effect that microwaving seeds has on the growth of radish plants. Through good experimental technique, Grace showed that the longer the amount of time that radish seeds are exposed to microwave radiation, the lower their growth rate. Second place in this category was awarded to Freja Newman and Highly Commended awards were presented to Emma Ho and Anna Jin for their investigations.

First place in the Year 8 Investigation category was awarded to Dunja Dudic who tested the claims that magnetic water has many health benefits. She investigated the growth of soya beans and found that magnetic water was more beneficial than normal water in the growth of soya beans.  Second place in this category went to Rena Tang and Highly Commended awards went to Madeline Ayres and Crystal Zhao.

The panel of judges at the 2017 STEM Showcase included Anna Wright, CEO and founder of Banjomaps; Liz Derks from BlueChilli, a company that helps entrepreneurs build global businesses to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges; Genevieve Duche, a PhD Chemistry student who is focusing on nanotechnologies and how to use them to develop a new drug delivery system and Warren Cunninghame, former Head of Science at Meriden.