Competition success for trio of pupils

Jessica Mather, Mrs Jenny Trapp, Director of Post 16, Tara Blyth, Alex Wardle of AkzoNobel and Christopher Dodds-Scarr.
Jessica Mather, Mrs Jenny Trapp, Director of Post 16, Tara Blyth, Alex Wardle of AkzoNobel and Christopher Dodds-Scarr.
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Three pupils of a county school have taken centre stage at a prestigious science and technology competition.

Jessica Mather, Christopher Dodds-Scarr and Tara Blyth, from Ashington High School, were the first trio from any school in the UK to make it through to the finals of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair 2015.

We are very keen to assist the development of the workforce of the future and to be actively involved in the projects we support

Jill Johnston, site support coordinator at AkzoNobel

The three pupils, all aged 13, took part in the junior category, where Jessica was highly commended in the Junior Science and Maths category, for her entry At What Age Do We Lead The Fittest Lifestyle, winning her £100.

Principal Rob Kitching said: “This is the first time that three students from one school have made the final and, as such, this was a tremendous boost not just for the pupils but for the school as a whole.

“We are passionate about science and technology and the fantastic career opportunities that exist if you possess skills in these areas.

“Reaching the finals and competing against the very best in the country was a big challenge for Jessica, Christopher and Tara.”

Assisting them with sponsorship and providing mentoring support were staff from AkzoNobel’s decorative paints division.

Jill Johnston, site support coordinator, at AkzoNobel, said: “We recognise the importance of allowing young people the opportunity to explore the wonderful opportunities that study in science and technology offers.

“We are very keen to assist the development of the workforce of the future and to be actively involved in the projects we support.

“Indeed, we were keen not just to provide some financial support to cover travel and accommodation for the pupils in Birmingham but to also work alongside them to ensure their entries stood out.

“To this end my colleague Alex Wardle, a site support coordinator, assisted the trio with concepts and design planning for the display stands and also advice for their presentations to the judges.

“As our presence in the town continues to grow, there will be some great opportunities for young people to forge successful, long term careers and this is one of a number of exciting projects with which we have engaged with schools in the area.”