A team from Applemore College in Southampton will be heading to the state-of- the art McLaren Technology Centre in Woking next month after getting through to the final of a pan-European contest organised by ExxonMobil and Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JAYE) Europe.
The Fawley students saw off stiff competition from 90 Leatherhead and Southampton pupils in the UK stage of the competition at ExxonMobil’s Fawley refinery one of the largest in Europe on Wednesday 12 March.
Coming first in the battle to solve a tough energy efficiency challenge, the Year 10 students will now join 60 others from eight European countries at the three-day final of the European Sci-Tech Challenge from 1-3 April.
The Sci-Tech Challenge is part of a European wide programme delivered by ExxonMobil and JAYE Europe which aims to excite 15-18 year-olds with the prospect of choosing a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) orientated careers, such as chemical and mechanical engineering.
Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager from ExxonMobil at Fawley said:
“The Applemore College team did a great job against tough competition, and will now be joining some of Europe’s top young science, maths and technology students in the battle for the top prize in the final of finals. The Sci-Tech Challenge highlights the importance of STEM and Applemore College have proved they’ve got what it takes to represent the UK in Europe. I wish them the best of luck in the final and congratulations on getting this far.”
The team from Applemore College narrowly beat two schools from Leatherhead with St Andrews coming a close second, and Therfield in third place.
The challenge itself involved students coming up with a fast, integrated and energy efficient European wide transport network for the future. The competition was very tight, with all 18 teams participating demonstrating a high level of innovation and creativity.
The Sci-Tech Challenge is the third part of a programme of activities which operates in schools near ExxonMobil sites and is supported by employee volunteers.
The programme begins with an online quiz that tests students’ basic scientific skills. Volunteers such as graduate engineers then go into the schools to talk to the students about the work they do and the career opportunities available.
The programme then culminates with The Sci-Tech Challenge. So far this year in the UK over 700 students from seven schools have taken part in the programme at various stages.
Roy Howard, Regional Director, South Young Enterprise, who was a judge at the UK Final said:
“All the students taking part in the competition rose to the challenge and demonstrated that they’ve improved their maths, science and technology skills as a result of taking part in the programme. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the winning team. To go to the impressive McLaren Technology Centre building and to compete for the top prize makes it even more exciting. I’d like to thank ExxonMobil for their support in this joint initiative.”