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Scientists heading to national final

Three Rugby High Teams reach the final of the Big Bang

Three teams from Rugby High  will take their place in this year’s final of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition after wowing judges of the regional heats.

The school has been represented at every final since the competition began 12 years ago – with over 20 teams making it through during that time.

Susan Mighall, head of physics at the school, said: “We are thrilled yet again to have teams featuring in this national competition final.

“The quality of the science projects are testament to our students’ hard work, and dedication of the staff who help run science clubs where the girls can carry out their research and receive mentoring.

“We are very proud that their scientific ability as well as their dedication has been rewarded and that Rugby High School will once again be represented at the National Science and Engineering competition.”

Mark Titterington, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said: “The teams from Rugby High School really impressed the judges with their project and we’re excited to see how they do at the UK finals. It is a huge achievement to progress to this stage of the competition and they should be incredibly proud.”

The students will attend the competition finals at The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC next March, and vie for prizes including the coveted title of UK Young Engineer of the Year.

Students Rebecca Williams, Priya Raisbek and Karis Kidney will take their place in the final with their project, entitled ‘Water you mean I’m dehydrated?’.

The trio looked at how the body can become dehydrated and the impact it has.

They then looked at how to solve it by analysing existing oral rehydration therapy products – fluid replacement products which involve drinking water with sugar and salts to prevent and treat dehydration, especially that due to diarrhoea.

This led them to design their own product, tailored to suit the needs of a person in a third world country.

Rebecca said her team all had different interests, so wanted to tackle a project which covered medicine, business and chemistry to improve their knowledge on their favourite topics.

She said: “Our aims are to increase awareness and availability of re-hydration medicine, and to increase our personal team skills. We are currently looking at ways of developing our ideas with the help of Rugby-based charity Practical Action.

“We were very excited when we got through because we put a lot of hard work and many lunchtimes into this and we are so glad it paid off! We are looking forward to the nationals and will try our best to impress the judges with some fresh ideas.”



A  team comprising Becca Cowie, Lucia Virdi, Jessica Bryn, Suzanna Pyne, and Dhruvika Talati qualified for the final thanks to their ‘Eco Hotel’ project.

They designed a hotel with environmentally-friendly architectural features such as solar panels, wind turbines, ground source heating, light tubes and various other designs which conserve heat, electricity and water.

They built two models for architects to show clients the various eco-features they could incorporate into their buildings.

Becca said she and her teammates wanted to look at how hotels could reduce their energy wastage.

She said: “We teamed up with a local architect who gave us an introduction to various features which can be put into hotels and we decided to build an eco-friendly prototype design that the architect could use to give ideas to his clients.

“We hope our model will inspire hotel chains to incorporate more Eco features into their designs.

“It felt really rewarding to get to the final. Lots of very intense research, model building and report writing has paid off.”


Green architecture was also the focus of team members Beril Uzun, Alex Farren, Jessica Batchelor, Samudi Wickramaratne, Imogen Day and Eleanor Culliford.

Their project ‘Eco Factory’ saw them build a scale model of a factory complete with solar panels, wind turbines, grey water systems, a living roof with a layer of vegetation, and other designs which conserve heat, electricity and water.

Beril Uzun said the team set out to design a large scale building to have minimal environmental impact and reduce problems such as global warming.

She said: “Our eco factory has typical features like solar panels and wind turbines, but we have also included a biological roof for insulation and to minimise rain runoff. We have also incorporated grey water collection for flushing toilets.

“We’ve learned much more about engineering, design and environmental impacts and we are keen to promote awareness when we display at the Big Bang.

“We were proud, excited and really satisfied that the project all came together for the regional competition.”

Photographs and article courtesy of the Rugby Observer