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HEAD ON… Sky’s the limit

June 28th, 2015

Caroline Pascoe Head On - Skys the limitA real buzz has been created around science and engineering at Monmouth School for Girls, especially thanks to the outstanding success of two of our girls recently. On March 12, sisters Sky and Kia, aged 12 and 13, were crowned the UK’s Junior Engineers of the Year at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair 2015.

The innovative pair won this fantastic recognition for their Crikey Bikey bicycle training harness, which Sky invented as part of a school competition. Over 200 finalists took part in the event at the NEC in Birmingham, and 75,000 visitors flocked to the venue to enjoy competitors’ projects and science stands filled with hands-on activities.

After setting up their display stand at the weekend-long fair, the girls presented the harness to several judges who visited them throughout the event. Crikey Bikey began as an entry in Monmouth School for Girls’ annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM Challenge) a year ago.

After Renishaw plc, who sponsors the prizes, selected Sky’s project as the winner, Kia became involved in developing the product further. The girls won Best in Show at the regional Big Bang event last July and were nominated to compete in the national finals.

Jason Bradbury, best known for hosting The Gadget Show on Channel 5, presented Kia and Sky with their prize at the NEC and then interviewed them in front of around 1,000 people in the audience. The Crikey Bikey harness has been patented by the girls, and is now being sold in local toy stores and on the girls’ website.

Science and engineering are not always associated with girls. But fortunately, here at Monmouth School for Girls we have an innovative science department which is constantly coming up with new ways to make engineering exciting. Our weekly Science Club allows the girls to take part in activities spanning all three sciences including engineering and robotics. And our partnership with Renishaw has boosted awareness and created excitement over careers in the field.

Last year, one of our pupils accepted an offer to study chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge, another two have gone on to read engineering at Warwick and Northampton and one is studying electronic engineering in York.

We also have a large number of former pupils studying the sciences at top universities. Our girls are going on to make a real impact in the world of science, working on medicine and inventions which will change people’s lives – and that really is something to be excited about.

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