A team of 15 year old students from Moorside High School in Manchester were the 2009 winners of BOC's Year 10 Science Challenge today (Tuesday).
They and the other schools taking part had been asked to design, build and test a 'direct cooler'. This is a vital part of the air separation process, the method by which BOC extracts oxygen, nitrogen and argon from the air around us.
The final of this six-week competition was held at BOC's Customer Service Centre in Worsley, Manchester. The teams, all from local schools, had to demonstrate their understanding of the technology by building and testing a model 'direct cooler'. At the final, they presented their results to a panel of BOC experts. Moorside convinced the judges that they had grasped the underlying science by building a model that cooled air by over 40°C for over an hour in a test run in their classroom.
"The team were really pleased to win this award," explained their science teacher, KS4 Coordinator Charles Howard. "They put in a lot of hard work and were sure their model worked well, but they could see how stiff the competition from the other teams was."
Mark Jenkinson, Head of BOC's Customer Service Centre, was also delighted at the standard of the entries. "We were very impressed with the enthusiasm shown by all the participants, as well as the amount of work they put in and the technical understanding they demonstrated."
St Patrick's RC High School & Arts College and Sale Grammar were close runners-up behind Moorside. All three received a trophy and the winners, in addition, received a cheque for £250.
BOC is running another competition for Year 10 students next year as well as a longer event for Year 12 students.