Teams of students at the 2012 Big Bang Fair at the Birmingham NEC earlier this month competed to build the tallest observation tower for an imaginary ski resort at the ICE stand.
Competitors were limited to 60 building blocks and had to incorporate a tunnel in their structure as an part of an access route to the resort.
Students had just five minutes to build their structure. A prize was to be awarded to the tallest tower but several structures measured the same height, so a winner was due to be drawn from a hat by ICE director general Nick Baveystock as NCE went to press.
The winners, who will be named next week, will get an “ICE contract” to build the resort.
Around 40,000 people visited this year’s Big Bang Fair over the three days, an increase of 5,000 on last year and 250 different schools visited the ICE stand to take part in the tower challenge.
All areas of science and engineering
The Big Bang event embraced all areas of science and engineering and included the Young Engineer of the Year and Young Scientist of the year events.
Young Engineer of the Year winners were Wasim Miah and Jessica Jones, both 17 years old from St David’s College, Cardiff. They had invented a portable device for monitoring the intensity of foetal contractions.
Prizes were awarded by Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts.
“Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers is vital to our economy and society - that’s why the initiatives, such as The Big Bang Fair and the National Science & Engineering Competition are so important. The talented young people I’ve met today will not only have the skills and knowledge to work and live in an increasingly advanced world, but will make a real contribution to future growth,” he said.
Roland Jackson, chief executive of the British Science Association commented: “The National Science & Engineering Competition continues to do an incredibly important job in encouraging young people to explore their interest in science and engineering.
“We’d encourage anyone with a project they’re proud of to take part in next year’s competition, which starts at the next round of Regional Fairs this summer.”