The second year of #700STEMChallenge

On Monday evening the 21 finalists of this year’s #700STEMChallenge writing competition gathered to hear the final placing of their entries. We had even more entries this year, from schools across the country and so the judges had a hard decision to make as we had such a phenomenal range. The pupils had the choice to write around 700 words on any topic within Science, Technology & Engineering or Maths and then the entries were shortlisted into under 14, under 16 and under 18.

The evening kicked off with a fabulous presentation from Cyprian Njamma, Director of SEI Investments, discussing his path from school in Nigeria, through to Oxford University and how his passion for maths transferred to physics and then on to finance. He talked through the importance of maths to the financial industry and his passion for its universality, transferability and power in communication and was asked several probing questions about his role. Our year 12s launched a table quiz to test the STEM knowledge of pupils, parents and staff and we heard from our second judge, alumna and airline Captain, Olivia van Lieshout who spoke about the life of a pilot, from training through to receiving command and the decision making involved on every single flight that simply can’t be replaced by autopilot! She also shared easyJet’s campaign to encourage more women to train as pilots and how the airline now has 16% female pilots compared with the industry level of 5%. Her message was clear: if you’re interested, try a flying experience – you’ll catch the bug! As she had to fly early the next morning, she then presented her awards for the Technology & Engineering category. Our final judge, alumna, Consultant Cardiologist and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Professor Diana Gorog spoke about her journey to Medicine and how she chose to focus on cardiology & the importance of combining compassion and strong communication skills in her work. Final message: do what you enjoy & reach for the stars!

Nominees and essay titles
(listed in alphabetical order by surname)
Science
U14:
Radiocarbon Dating The Shark That Time Forgot
– Emily Boland, Streatham & Clapham High School
The Discovery of a New Microscopic Vessel in the Leg Bone
– Gabrielle Hobson, Sheffield High School
What is changing as the Moon moves further away?
– Maya Vyas, Streatham & Clapham High School
U16:
Stress: its effect on the brain – Ashwini Garneti, Sheffield High School
The Periodic Table – Julia Grzywacz, Wimbledon High School
Why is glass transparent? – Asiya Qureshi, Northwood College for Girls
U18:
LIGO: The ultimate streaming app for Black Holes
– Samar Al-Haddad, Notting Hill & Ealing High School
Will doctors ever become extinct due to the existence of artificial intelligence?
– Madhulika Joglekar, Norwich High School
Neglected Tropical Diseases – Darcy Quist, Sydenham High School

Technology & Engineering
U14:
Is teleportation possible? – Tiffany Igharoro, Sydenham High School
Wind Turbine Rap! – Lara Kerr, Wimbledon High School
The Highs and Lows of Supersonic Passenger Planes – Elodie Owens, Sydenham High School
16:
Light activated robotic stingrays: – Ella Bolland, South Hampstead High School
Virtual Reality: A giant leap for medicine – Aditya Chougule, Wilson’s School
Quantum entanglement and teleportation – Constance Harris, Norwich High School
Has the film industry accurately portrayed space? – Samah Mughal, Wimbledon High School

Maths
U16:
About Right – Eleanor Roberts, South Hampstead High School
Mathematics: The Order and the Chaos – Amia Guha, Oxford High School
What is the most beautiful equation? – Morgan Lee, Sydenham High School
U18:
Journey of the number zero – Elena Gupta, Wimbledon High School
Quantum computing – Joshua Soyke-Pinon, Dulwich College

For the results please read our Finalists Magazine 2019