Churchill Academy

Young Scientists of the Year

George Rabin (10WAL) and Ed Thurlow (10WST) have been awarded the GSK Young Scientist of the Year title at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition.

Ed and George’s project investigated birds' responses to colour in the hope of using the knowledge to help aeroplane engineers reduce the number of bird strikes.

In their project, the students painted a series of four feeders in different colours and filled them with food. They then introduced birds to the feeders and counted the number of bird visits to the feeders and how much food the birds ate. Their investigation found that birds were more likely to feed from a feeder painted in blue.

Over 500 finalists from across the country were selected to show their ideas at The Big Bang Fair where ten were then shortlisted to pitch Dragon’s Den-style to a panel of high profile judges, including Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE, Space scientist & TV presenter; Jason Bradbury, TV presenter & gadget guru; and Dr Shini Somara, Mechanical Engineer & TV presenter.

The Big Bang Competition is an annual contest designed to recognise and reward young people's achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as helping them build skills and confidence in project-based work.

Congratulating the winners, Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK which organises The Big Bang Competition said:

 “The winners have been rightly recognised as some of the brightest young talent in the country. Their innovative thinking and fresh ideas stood out to the judges. They are not just prize winners, but a real inspiration."

 Joint winner of the GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year 2017 title, Ed Thurlow, said:

“We weren’t expecting this whatsoever and quite amazed that we’ve been named GSK Young Scientist of the Year. We’re delighted as it reflects the amount of effort we put into our project.”

The award was made at the Big Bang Fair, at the NEC in Birmingham. Joint winner George Rabin commented:

“This has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase a project we’ve dedicated a tremendous amount of time to. It’s a subject we’re both really passionate about and it’s rewarding to have got so far with it.”

The winners will continue to show their ideas to thousands of visitors to the annual Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, which aims to inspire other young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

 Headteacher, Chris Hildrew, commented: 

"This in an amazing achievement. The boys presented their project to the senior staff at Churchill recently and we were very impressed, not only by the quality of the science, but by the enthusiasm and skill that Ed and George showed in their presentation. They are a real credit to Churchill Academy & Sixth Form and we can't wait to see what they do next!"

Special thanks are due to Mr Ramshaw, Science Teacher, who has overseen the high attaining scientists programme this year which facilitated this project.