GSAL’s young engineers are pumped with success

Friday 21 July 2017

An innovative idea for a pump designed to produce fresh water from flood water has won recognition for a team of students from The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL).

The team of six Year 12 students put their Cascade Centrifugal Pump project on show at the Big Bang Fair Yorkshire and Humber. Their design impressed the judges who awarded them two of the fair’s sought-after awards – Best Project: Product Design and Young Engineer of the Year.

Regional Big Bang Fairs bring science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to life for young people, with activities, exhibits and workshops, as well as providing a showcase for student engineering projects.

Hannah Talbot, from the Cascade team, said: “After the 2015 flooding in Tadcaster, 79 properties were lost because water rose too quickly and broke the flood pump. We wanted to make a durable pump that would work under water.”

Aiman Zaidi added: “We also wanted to filter water as it was pumped through so it could be used as fresh water where needed after a flood, and power it with solar or other renewable energy in case of power cuts.”

All the team had a role to play in the project, which they have been working on since January as an extracurricular activity. They had to research new areas such as new materials, types of filtration and the standards of the Environment Agency.

Desiree Caspers-Frankel said: “We’re doing a variety of STEM subjects at A-level, so we bring different aspects to the team which is fulfilling. We learnt teamwork and engineering skills that will help us in the future.”

Other team members are Cynthia Ekengwu, Cara Fogarty and Hannah Wakefield. The team now have the opportunity to develop their design further and represent the region at the national Big Bang Fair next March.

Two other GSAL projects won awards at the regional Big Bang Fair – the iNav App won Best Project: Computing and the Distilling Buoy water purification system won Most Sustainable Project (eco-friendly).

Many of the Big Bang Fair projects are also entered for the CREST Gold Award, a scheme from the British Science Association that recognises achievement in STEM project work, and all members of the three award-winning teams won CREST gold.

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