Bolton School Senior Girls

Bolton School Girls are Eco Innovator Winners

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Earlier this year, two girls from Bolton School Girls’ Division won age group prizes in the Eco Innovators competition, which saw the government ask the next generation to design the electric vehicle charging points of our future. The competition, aimed at 7-19 year olds, inspired pupils to use their creative and engineering skills.

Lucy Pickett was in Y7 when she recorded a fourth place finish – out of 1500 competitors - in the 11-14 age group category. She recalled: “When I heard about the competition I thought it would be a great way to help play my part for the environment and this also helped me learn how to draw using perspective. After scratching out a few ideas, I checked back to look at the requirements and this helped me to understand more about what I needed to design in more detail. I then altered some of my design and came up with more ideas to make it more effective and easy to function for the user.”

Sofia Carrera-Knowles was in Y11 when she was awarded sixth place out of 200 entries in the 14-19 age group category. Sofia, now a Sixth Form student studying A levels in Mathematics, Physics, Electronics and Chemistry, has a strong interest in a future in engineering. Discussing what had driven her entry, she commented: “I was first inspired to take part in this competition as I am very interested in the future of electric cars and I enjoy design challenges. I wanted my design to represent the Earth and make use of sustainable materials so I therefore drew the power point to have a spherical shape with a large majority of it made out of bamboo. I also wanted to make sure no leads posed a tripping hazard if left unattended, so to solve this problem, I researched and applied the idea of a retractable lead, similar to a measuring tape.”

Submissions to the competition were judged by a panel from organisations including the RAC Foundation, the National Grid, the National Transport Design Centre, Design Council, Living Streets, Thank You and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles as well as the minister, Jesse Norman. He commented: “I am delighted to be one of the judges of this terrific competition. We will be looking for really imaginative chargepoint designs that can play a big practical role in encouraging more people to buy and drive electric vehicles.”

Each girl won a STEM education kit – a BBC micro:bit, the pocket sized computer which allows people to learn to code, along with equipment to add onto it and experiment with.

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