Ship design sees pupils sail through to the final round

BY DESIGN Rachel Barham, left, and Chloe Wildsmith will participate in the finals on Monday
BY DESIGN Rachel Barham, left, and Chloe Wildsmith will participate in the finals on Monday

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PORTSMOUTH could do with some good news given its recent shipbuilding woes – and two students from Portsmouth High School may just be able to provide it.

Rachel Barham and Chloe Wildsmith, both aged 14, have reached the finals of the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge after impressing with their design for an energy efficient ship.

The finals will take place at the Science Museum in London on Monday, with a prize of £500 for the winner’s school.

The national competition challenges 11 to 14-year-old students to test their science, technology, engineering and maths skills, referred to as STEM, by tackling real-world energy problems.

This year, students were invited to develop an energy efficient solution to one of three real-world challenges: Streamlined Ships, Better Buildings or Trim Turbines.

Rachel and Chloe tackled the Streamlined Ships challenge, where they had to come up with an energy-saving design for a large tanker ship.

Amy Davies, science teacher at Ports-mouth High School, said: ‘The girls have worked extremely hard and produced a very imaginative design.

‘They planned, carried out and evaluated their design thoroughly showing a high level of scientific knowledge.’

Samantha Bulkeley, UK Schools Education Manager at BP, who sat on the judging panel, said: ‘I would like to congratulate the students of Portsmouth High School in getting through to the finals. We were really impressed by the high standard across all the projects this year.

‘The finalist entries really demonstrate the students’ passion for STEM and enthusiasm for experimental work and the ability to use real-world applications to solve the challenge. We look forward to seeing the students bring their projects to life at the finals.’

The six finalist teams will be presenting their work to an expert judging panel at the Science Museum on Monday during British Science Week.

Following the presentations, the students will participate in a day of science activities.