Newcastle College students are celebrating after taking gold in the 2011 Worldskills’ environmental science competition with an innovative sustainability project.
The three International Baccalaureate students, Molly Secret, 18, from Heaton, Emily Athey, 17, from Whitley Bay and Damien English, 17, from Wideopen, all studying at Newcastle Sixth Form College, beat off competition from five teams from around the UK and one from the Netherlands to win the prestigious Environmental Science UK Skills competition.
The students had to design a sustainable energy solution for an imaginary island community; build a renewable energy generator and present a report to judges justifying their solution and winning over members of the local community.
In total, three teams from Newcastle College made it through to the final five.
Tutor Deborah Johnson, said: “The competition was incredibly tough and the standard really high so we were pleased that so many of our students made it through to the final stages and were able to demonstrate their skills to an international audience.”
As part of their prize the students have been invited to the House of Lords in December to present their winning ideas again.
Emily Athey said: The ideas for the actual project came to us fairly easily as we could draw on a lot of things we have covered in class, but it was difficult not to be nervous when we had to give our presentation. I am however really looking forward to getting the opportunity to go to the House of Lords, as it’s not everyone who gets the chance to do that.”
The latest win is actually the second time Newcastle College students have triumphed in the event. Newcastle students also won the ground-breaking competition when it was first held at the headquarters of the British Geological Survey near Nottingham in July 2009.
Steve Davies from the National Skills Academy for Power said: “We would like to congratulate the winners of the environmental science competition. As we face an increasing challenge to attract young people into the power sector, events like WorldSkills give us the opportunity to demonstrate just how exciting and dynamic a future in our industry can be. We were delighted to support the competition and wish all of the participants great success in the future.”
Jacqui Henderson from the Tec Trust Fund said: “We’re delighted that the environmental science competition was such a success. The fact that the competition was held at WorldSkills London 2011 meant that every competitor, and not least the winners from Newcastle College and the runners up from Valero, were able to showcase their skills on a global stage.”