Student engineering project gets off the ground to win gold

Friday 26 June 2015

WEB CREST Gold winners 06

A team of high-flying students from The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) has scooped two sought-after awards at a major event celebrating science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people.

The five lower sixth students designed and built a prototype quadcopter for conducting aerial roof inspections, which took off and impressed the judges at the Big Bang Fair Yorkshire and Humber.

The team of Cathy Wicks, Nat Kunin, Andrew Huff, Faizan Siraj and Sam Seldon came away with both the regional prize for Best Project (Computing) and the CREST Gold Award, an award from the British Science Association that recognises achievement in STEM project work.

As a result the students now have the opportunity to develop their ideas further and represent the Yorkshire and Humber region at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair next March.

Physics teacher Rory O’Flanagan said: “The team has worked very hard since October, designing their model and sourcing all materials themselves to construct it from scratch. To produce a working quadcopter that can fly is an incredible achievement.”

Nat said: “The project has been helpful to give us a sense of running with an idea from design to construction. Winning the award means we can advance to the next level and improve the model as in real world production.”

Cathy said: “To develop our model further, as well as improving the construction we need to get more experience flying it and consider the business side of the project – costs, manpower and potential commercial uses.”

A second team from GSAL has also won through to the national Big Bang event next year. Calling themselves Bamboozle, the team of John Greathead, Alexandra Lethenyey, Oliver Bell, Thomas Bell and Arvind Narayan won Most Innovative Idea and the CREST Gold Award Runner Up prize for their sustainable bamboo quadcopter.


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