National Champions win at Big Bang

Three pupils from Felsted Preparatory School were crowned National Champions at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair last week. Bethan Hudson-Lund, Imogen Gander,  and Sophie Weston, are celebrating after winning the junior category of the prestigious National Science and Engineering Competition.

The talented students from Felsted Preparatory School won the top prize in the Science and Maths category in the Competition at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, which was attended by over 65,000 visitors this year.

Bethan, Imogen and Sophie were one of 450 innovative young finalists chosen to showcase their work to a world-class panel of judges, and they captured the judges’ attention with their project ‘do heat protection hair products work?’

Since winning the regional competition, the girls wished to develop their project, uncovering the chemical composition of hair products and the effectiveness of these chemicals. Through their investigation, the girls discovered that many products contained a vast amount of colourings, perfume and preservatives which are actually damaging to hair. The judges commended the girls on their exceptionally high level of chemical understanding, stating they would have expected this knowledge in children studying A Levels, not in Year 8!

The prestigious judging panel included particle physicist Professor Brian Cox, OBE, renowned space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Sir Tim Hunt, and the Science Museum’s inventor in residence Mark Champkins, among others.

The judges were blown away by the high calibre of entries this year. Professor Brian Cox said:  “Bethan, Imogen and Sophie stood out as exceptionally bright young talent who rightly deserves recognition for their project in this Competition. Seeing projects such as this just highlights how promising the future of the science and engineering industry is in the UK and I’m very excited to see what Bethan, Imogen, Sophie and their fellow finalists will do with their careers in the future.”

Mrs Christina Bury, Assistant Director of Learning at Felsted Preparatory School commented, “The girls would like to thank Estee Lauder Manufacturing Plant, who kindly allowed them to work with the scientists for the day, to understand how products are manufactured and tested. The high level of quality control, which ensures product consistency, really impressed the group. They would also like to thank the organisers of the Big Bang UK Science and Engineering Fair for putting together a tremendous event.”

The three girls travelled to BBC Essex on Friday 22nd March, to be interviewed by Ray Clark and their interview can be downloaded here;