Media Release: Irvine Bay science competition captures schools’ imaginations

Science captures schools imaginations

A SCIENCE competition designed to increase interest in science and engineering in schools in North Ayrshire has prompted a wave of innovative and clever ideas from pupils.

And one lucky school – named as overall winner – will enjoy an overnight trip to Scotland’s capital for the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April.

The competition, run by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company in partnership with North Ayrshire Council, captured the imagination of youngsters at primary and secondary school levels, and showed that the area has great potential young scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians ready to change the world.

The three main prize categories are:

  • Best Primary school team
  • Best Secondary school team, and
  • Most Innovative Project (voted for by the public via the Irvine Bay Facebook page)

The primary school winners saw joint winners, Haycocks Primary girls’ and boys’ teams.

The boys looked at creating a device to filter water in countries where clean drinking water is a problem. The device filters as individuals carry the water. This will mean that when they return home they will have cleaner drinking water in their container.

The girls designed a ‘floating’ platform to support a house in the event of flooding, helping people and their properties survive floods in the future.

At Secondary school level, Garnock Academy were winners. Their team researched the use of Hydrogels as a fire retardant, and showed their idea could help fire services in the future and could also help during floods.

The Innovative Project voted by the public through Facebook was won by Lamlash Primary, who looked at creating a singing vacuum cleaner to aid those irritated by the noise of housework.

And the overall grand winner – again the judges found it impossible to separate the two teams from Haycocks Primary – so both will now enjoy a special day out.

Penelope McCann, head teacher, said: “I am so delighted that both our groups at Hayocks Primary School have won the Irvine Bay Science Competition.

“Not only has this experience developed the children’s scientific enquiry skills but has also increased their confidence and ability to work collaboratively.

“This is an ideal example of Curriculum for Excellence in practice. Through participating in this experience, we hope our pupils have been motivated into pursuing a career in the field of science.”

The winning teams from Lamlash Primary and Garnock Academy win a day out exploring the Glasgow Science Centre, and the Hayocks Primary teams will enjoy an overnight trip to the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April.

Patrick Wiggins, chief executive of Irvine Bay, said: “We have been delighted at the enthusiastic, imaginative and talented entries we have received.

“The aim of the competition was to encourage pupils to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to discover how ideas from these disciplines can change everyday life for people around the world.

“They have certainly taken all of that on board.”

An increased focus on sciences is right up at the top of the agenda for Irvine Bay as the Enterprise Area seeks to attract new business and growth in the life sciences sector.

The area has a long connection with science-based industry and the growth in the life sciences sector is expected to create new jobs. The competition raises the awareness of local young people of science related opportunities which could have an impact on their future employment.

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Contact: Kirsty Innes
Phone: 01294322500