Forest Gate Community School scoops regional prize in The Bright Ideas Challenge
PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:11 27 June 2019
Talented students impressed some of the world's top engineers and won £1,500 for their school with their plans to eradicate air pollution caused by cars and lorries.
The four-strong team from Forest Gate Community School fought off tough competition from schools across London to take the first prize in The Bright Ideas Challenge regional final.
The winning team's bright idea was to introduce windows that capture solar power which could be used in buildings as a more sustainable energy source.
James Lynskey, Rayan Junaid, Usman Ahmed and Eric Tadlas, all 12, will donate their prize money to their school's STEM department.
The team will now get the chance to prototype their idea when they compete against 12 other schools from across the country for the £3,500 first prize in the VIP STEM experience final.
Eric said: "We were looking at how to improve train travel or air travel at first. But then we discovered that 94 per cent of pollution in big cities comes from vehicles so we wanted to do something around cars and lorries.
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"Solar powered windows seemed like a good idea because most cars are parked outside and they could just soak up energy while stationary."
James added: "We came up with an idea for an engine that runs mostly on solar power but would have the option to switch to petrol if you were driving at night or it was a really cloudy day.
"If most cars were not emitting exhaust fumes the air would be a lot cleaner. To do so well considering we were among the youngest students in the competition was amazing."
The Big Idea Challenge, sponsored by energy company Shell in partnership with Teach First, challenges students to devise innovative solutions that could power cities of the future.
Farjana Aktar, the school's careers advisor, said: "I am so proud of them. They had such a short amount of time to come up with an idea and a presentation. They impressed some of the world's best engineering minds at such a young age. I'm totally in awe of their talent."
Marcus-Alexander Neil, Shell UK education manager, added: "It is a real thrill to see the ingenuity the students have brought to their competition entries.
"As the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers they are able look at things from a fresh perspective."