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Budding scientists and engineers encouraged to enter challenges

14 Oct 2008

Young scientists, engineers and technologists across the region are being challenged to show their creativity skills in a schools’ competition at the 5th Annual Celebration of Schools’ Science and Engineering in the East Midlands.

The event, sponsored by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), and backed by the region’s Science and Industry Council – East Midlands Innovation, will take place on Thursday 20th November 2008. The event , to be hosted by British Geological Survey, at Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, aims to promote creativity in the areas of science, engineering and technology in schools.

The event will incorporate the BA CREST Awards regional competition as well as activities and lectures for the participating students. Students are being invited to enter their CREST Award projects into the competition. The projects will have been completed as part of their normal studies or through after school clubs or extended projects working with industry or a university. Entry forms are now available to submit ideas from their local CREST Award co-ordinators. It is hoped that around 140 young people will compete at the event and senior figures from Science and Engineering organisations are expected to attend the prize giving ceremony.

The winners from this event will be nominated to go forward to the national competition that will take place as part of the first UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair to be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th March 2009 in London. The organisers of this national fair are co-sponsors of the East Midlands Celebration event on 20th November.

David Wallace, emda’s Director of Innovation said: “The Regional Innovation Strategy and Action Plan which emda and East Midlands Innovation have developed, identifies the need to foster a culture of innovation amongst young people, businesses, communities and organisations. By sponsoring this Annual Schools Celebration event, we hope to inspire more young people to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology to help create a knowledge-based economy providing high quality, skilled jobs for the workforce of tomorrow.”  For details about the work being done to support innovation in the region, visit

The Director of the British Geological Survey said: “We recognise the importance of initiatives such as the BA CREST Awards in helping students of all ages see that Science is a creative subject. They are an excellent way to encourage young people’s enthusiasm in science throughout their education and the projects help to relate science and technology to everyday life experiences. This is a philosophy that BGS shares.”

Science and engineering organisations from across the East Midlands Region will  be supporting the event with prize sponsorship; these include AstraZeneca R&D Charnwood, in Loughborough and Babcock International Group plc in Whetstone, Leicestershire. The University of Leicester’s School of Biosciences and GENIE CETL are also supporting the event by sponsoring the publication of the publication of the programme for the event.

The BA CREST Awards is a national young peoples’ programme of the British Association for the Advancement of Science supported financially by AstraZeneca plc and the Research Councils UK. BA CREST Awards are granted to students between the ages of 11 and 19 at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, dependent upon the extent and depth of the work involved by the students.

The UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, (to be held 4th to 6th March 2009, in London) is a collaborative event organised by the BA and Young Engineers with support from Engineering Technology Board for students aged 11 to 19 who have completed a high quality science project through a number of participating schemes.

The Fair will provide an opportunity to celebrate and raise the profile of young people’s innovation and achievement in science and engineering. At the event the national finals of the BA CREST Award scheme, Young Engineer for Britain and the new National Science Competition will be judged and prizes awarded along with a host of talks, shows, activities and hands on exhibitions for visiting schools to take part in.

This event is being organised by the SciTec team at the Derbyshire Education Business Partnership. For further information about the event contact Dianne Campbell on 01773 571 590 or email