6th November 2020 — In a Friday morning assembly in the Autumn term, Prep School teachers announced the results from an engineering competition that some of the Prep pupils had entered during lockdown. Big Ideas delivers community and education projects locally, nationally and globally and encourages students to change the way they see the world with 'big ideas'. The remote learning competition, which saw students across the country take part during lockdown, received an exceptionally high standard of entries.
Nigel Williams, Secretary for The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, convened with Scott Atkinson, Education Programmes Manager from The Royal Academy of Engineering and Dr Virginia Crompton, CEO of Big Ideas to judge the finalists.
Judges commented that "Video entries from students across Year 4 – Year 12 were full of innovative ideas, exceptional experiments and intriguing inventions. It was a very difficult decision however, after much deliberation, seven entries were selected to receive top prizes for their Schools.
These prizes included money to supersize STEM subjects in school, a meeting with one of the engineers featured in the pack, some of whom support the 'This is Engineering' campaign to promote engineering careers, alongside 30 special commendation prizes for individual entries.
Megan, now in Year 6, was overall winner and another five girls at Manor House School had entries in the top 30. In addition, Manor House School were awarded a prize as 'champion school' for the amount, and quality, of our entries – all in the name of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
In October, pupils in the Year 6 bubble of the Prep School were looking forward to their prize - virtually meeting Milly Hennayake, a senior Civil Engineer involved with the project. In preparation, students were all busy thinking of questions to ask Milly about her life and work in half an hour. The engineer meeting ran as a Q&A format with a short introduction from Milly and her work.
As part of Megan’s (Year 6) prize from The Great Exhibition at Home Competition, Year 6 enjoyed a half hour digital interview with Milly Hennayake, one of the engineers featured in the pack and who Year 6 learnt about during their six-week project.
Milly was very interesting to listen to. She answered all the girl’s many and varied questions with a passion for her subject, as well as giving our Manor House pupils a very clear message:
‘Take every opportunity that comes your way as it may open up your eyes and mind to new avenues in life that you had not thought about before. ‘
Winner, Megan, said it was really exciting to meet one of the engineers we had learnt about. "She was inspiring and made us think that we could be engineers too. I loved her advice to say ‘yes’ to opportunities and to aspire to do the things we love."