Manchester school students set out to convince industry experts they had a novel way to store electrical energy – a key challenge for the renewable energy industry – at the final of this year’s BOC Science Challenge.
The event, held at the company’s Manchester offices on Friday 27 January, explored how gases could be used to store the electricity produced, for example in wind farms, for later use.
The winning entry came from The Derby High School, Bury, who designed a wind turbine that used compressed air to store excess electricity, making it available for later re-conversion to power when needed.
The BOC Challenge is designed to engage school students in the real world of science and engineering. The competition invites teams in Year 9 (13-14 year olds) to explore issues that relate to current challenges facing society. Each team is assigned a mentor from BOC who can advise them on aspects of technology and research. The competition runs shortly before students make their choices about GCSE studies – it aims to show that science and technology can be exciting and relevant.
Mark Jenkinson, Head of BOC’s Customer Service Centre in Worsley, commented: "The ingenuity and creative thinking we’ve seen today provide real encouragement for the future of UK industry. The country faces a number of challenges, not least in the area of energy supply, and it’s good to see how eagerly these school students have tackled the issue."
Cath Eames, Science Teacher at The Derby School said: "The competition enabled our team to get to grips with an area of science which presents a real challenge for the world today. It has opened their eyes to new possibilities."
Picture caption: BOC’s Mark Jenkinson (centre) with the winners of BOC’s Year 9 Science Challenge from The Derby School, Bury – Sean Humphries, Rhiannon Illingworth, Tom Gothard and Natasha Carroll. With them are BOC Mentor, Michelle Coates (left) and BOC Learning & Development Manager Barbara Blackburn (right).
The final was held at BOC’s Worsley offices in Manchester on Friday 27 January 2012.