Innovative Students Rewarded for their Creative Solutions



Maeve Stillman, from St Mary’s College in Derry, and Grace Lord, Brendan Miralles and Aalia Sellar from Loughborough Schools Foundation have seen off tough competition from over 1,100 entries from across the UK to be awarded the top honours of GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year and GSK UK Young Engineer of the Year at The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham on March 14.

The two awards are the top accolades in The Big Bang Competition—an annual competition for young people aged 11–18 in full-time education or training—designed to recognise and reward achievements in all areas of STEM, while promoting vital STEM skills and confidence in project-based work.

Winner of the GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year Award, 15-year-old Maeve Stillman from St Mary’s College in Derry, aimed to improve our understanding of how activated charcoal effects the absorption of everyday medicines, including paracetamol, for her winning project. The team from Loughborough, consisting of students from Loughborough High School and Loughborough Grammar School, took out the GSK UK Young Engineer of the Award category. The team’s project ‘Music Splash’, inspired by a need for better access to music education, is an app that uses machine learning to analyse music performance and provide feedback that helps the user improve. The standard of creativity in this year’s awards was exceptionally high, with other ideas including everything from aids for the visually impaired to sustainable fertilizer, and edible water bottles to a door with facial recognition.

Previous winners of the competition, which is now in its fourth year, have gone on to forge successful careers in STEM, compete at international awards and present their ground-breaking concepts on television.

As a result of their win, Maeve, Grace, Brendan and Aalia will all benefit from a range of exclusive mentoring and work experience opportunities, and VIP visits to top science centres with their families.

Creative Teaching & Learning