Nuffield Foundation prize-winners at the Big Bang Fair

14 March 2011

Congratulations to all our Science Bursary students who won prizes in the National Science & Engineeing Competition at this year’s Big Bang Fair held at the Excel Centre in London on 10-12 March. 

Jessica Wynn, of Highfield School Hitchin, won the top prize in the Science and Maths stream (intermediate age category) for her Nuffield Science Bursary project on assessment of air quality. Speaking after her victory, Jessica said: “It was a fantastic experience and I am so honoured and surprised to have won. I met some fantastic people as well.”

Professor Brian Cox, one of the competition’s judges at the London event, said: “The standard of entries was outstanding and the judging process proved much harder than expected. The judges were left truly overwhelmed by all the finalist’s projects and it’s wonderful to witness such enthusiasm and dedication from young people, such as Jessica. It’s left me hugely excited about the future of science in the UK.”

Jessica Wynn


Left to right: Kate Bellingham, Jessica Wynn, John Beddington and Professor Brian Cox.

Jason Long from The Glasgow Academy, and Jessica Birt from The Bishops' Bluecoat High School were Runners Up in the science and maths stream. Jason’s project on RSA Cryptography and Modern Integer Factorisation Methods also won him the Google Trailblazer prize for Technology and a nomination to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in California in May. 

Isobel Routledge from the Wirral Grammar School for Girls won the Research Councils UK Prize for the best use of Research for her Nuffield Science Bursary project on The effects of fluctuating temperature on the development of two mosquito species. Her project was also Highly Commended in the science and maths stream, as was Umair Hasan Jamal’s on Determination of Hydrogen in Titanium by Inert Gas Fusion Thermal Conductivity to ASTM E 1447.

Madhi Elango wins junior category of the Clothworkers' Foundation and Nuffield Foundation Best Use of Mathematics Prizes


Left to right: Kate Bellingham, Madhi Elango, junior winner of the Clothworkers' Foundation and Nuffield Foundation Best Use of Mathematics Prize, Anthony Tomei, Director of the Nuffield Foundation and Professor Brian Cox.

Natalie Mitchell’s Highly Commended project in Auto-focusing in Fluorescence Microscopy won the senior category of the The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Nuffield Foundation Best Use of Mathematics Prize. Natalie also won the opportunity to represent the UK at the EU Contest for Young Scientists to be held in Helsinki in September. Her place is one of three sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation. The other two were won by Holly Rees from Hills Road Sixth Form College for her Highly Commended Investigation into Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation (a Nuffield Science Bursary project) and Martin Thompson from Leicester Grammar School for his project on Optical Characterisation & Mechanical Design for Accurate Imaging

Other winners of The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Nuffield Foundation Best Use of Mathematics Prize were Madhi Elango from Queen Elizabeth Boys’ School for his project on The Effect of Acidity on Watercress and Sakunthala Panditharatne from Wycombe High School for her project on Fire for Video Games. 

Congratulations also go to Lauren Fowler, Nathan Katz and Benjamin Moss who were all Highly Commended for their Nuffield Science Bursary projects. Lauren, from Stockport Grammar School studied The effects of Perivascular Adipose Tissue on mouse mesenteric artery contractility.  Hills Road Sixth Form College Student Nathan’s project was a Study of Recombinant PERK. Benjamin’s project was in the engineering and technology stream and focused on the Use of Low Powered Lasers and Fibre Optics in the Design of a Robotic Finger. Benjamin is a student at The Kings School in Chester. 

Several Nuffield students were awarded CREST Prizes at the Big Bang. Alice Lightowlers from Kendrick School won the Gold CREST Research Councils UK Experience Prize for her project An investigation of the frictional coefficients between Bat fur and different types of roofing membrane.

Fiona Porter and Rebecca Nicholson both won places at the London International Youth Science Forum. Rebecca, from Anderson High School studied The abundance and distribution of Harbour Porpoise in selected waters surrounding Shetland. Fiona's project investigated the use of ketonic solvents with Suzuki-Miyaura couplings.

The winner of the Best CREST Gold prize was Natalie Mitchell from Headington School for her Highly Commended project on Auto-focusing in Fluorescence Microscopy.

Darren Mann, Assistant Curartor at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History was awarded the Blackberry Mentor’s Prize. Darren was nominated by Steven Williams whose project was on Mr Smith’s Bees.