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100 take part in Cheshire science challenge

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AROUND 100 pupils from schools across Cheshire, Warrington and North Wales took part in the Cheshire Challenge at Thornton Science Park.
Science and Technology Challenge Days are arranged across the UK for gifted and talented Year 8 and 9 students.
Ten schools from across the region took part where mixed school teams undertook a series of practical applied-science or technology related challenges, led by members of a team of students, including from the University of Chester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Activities on the day included:
A robot challenge – where the teams had to design and build robots using the latest Lego Mindstorm EV3 kit. The students were asked to programme the infrared and light sensors, to avoid a series of obstacles on the track.
E-fit challenge – a short sketch was acted out where someone’s wallet is stolen. The young people then used commercial E-FIT software to generate an image of the “thief”. The “thief” appeared at the end, for students to see how accurate their images were.
Electric car challenge – the students designed and built a battery-operated vehicle using plastic kit pieces. The team’s vehicles then raced against each other. Young people were encouraged to investigate how design affects the speed and power of their vehicle.
Brain diagnostics – the students took on the role of a doctor investigating a neurological illness. They questioned the patient, examined X rays, and looked at EEG scans of their brain activity. They then investigated how technology is used to improve the lives of people with similar illnesses.
Angela Lupton, HE STEM co-ordinator in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Chester, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for school pupils to see what they could achieve – while undertaking really interesting and enjoyable challenges. There were prizes for the winning teams and runners-up in each of the categories. The prizes were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, who also gave an encouraging talk to students.
“Our overall winning team for the day consisted of four girls from The King’s School in Chester and Upton-by-Chester High School.  Well done to everyone who took part!”

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