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'Big Bang' Fair winners announced

15 March 2010

After the culmination of many months of trialling and testing ideas and inventions, ten overall prize-winners were drawn across a range of different categories and age groups this evening (Friday, 12 March), as finalists in this year’s annual National Science & Engineering Competition presented their projects at The Big Bang in Manchester.
The ultimate titles of this year’s ‘UK Young Engineer of the Year’ and ‘UK Young Scientist of the Year' went to:

Shawn Brown, UK Young Engineer of the Year, for his Solar Bike - a bamboo framed electric trike using as much sustainable and reusable material as possible.  Shawn attends Ysgol Gyfun Llanbedr Pont Steffan in Lampeter, Wales.

Thomas Hearing, UK Young Scientist of the Year, for his mapping Monmouth beach and the eroding ammonite pavement - a project using precision GPS equipment to create a baseline dataset of the 'Ammonite Pavement' on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis. This was subsequently presented as a Geographical Information System and used to propose two erosion models.  Thomas attends the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, Dorset. 

Lord Mandelson presented the two winners with their certificates at a high profile awards ceremony attended by hundreds.  In addition, each senior category winner will receive: a cash prize of £2,000; an experience prize of their choice from either a trip to Earthwatch or NASA; and provided by Research Councils UK, an additional trip to CERN to see the Large Hadron Collider or the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma.
The judges included Nobel prize-winner Sir Tim Hunt, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, BBC Bang Goes the Theory’s Liz Bonnin and engineer Dr Sue Ion.
In addition to the two overall Senior Individual winners, the Competition entrants were competing for ten other prizes, including the best Junior, Intermediate and Senior team entries for both Science/Maths and Engineering/Technology and the best Junior and Intermediate Individual entries for both Science/Maths and Engineering/Technology. Each of these winners received cash prizes to the value of £500, as well as a certificate and in many cases, exceptional trips or experiences.
There are also 12 runner-ups, and 36 highly commended individuals and teams, separated by age and category ranging from junior students (aged 11-14 years) through intermediaries (15-16 years) to senior students (aged 17-18  years). 
This year there were 190 projects (346 competitors) exhibiting at the Fair.  The National Science & Engineering Competition is an initiative of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills as a response to a recommendation in Lord Sainsbury’s report ‘The Race to the Top’. It is coordinated by the British Science Association in partnership with Young Engineers and The Big Bang.  The Competition, open to all 11-18 year olds, accepts projects from all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

For information about the 2011 event, go to

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