The big winners of The Big Bang Competition 2021

With over 200 science and engineering projects entered into The Competition this year, we were extremely impressed by the ingenuity and willingness to solve real-world projects shown by all the young people who participated.

We want to extend a huge THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who took part, especially at the end of a very strange year. You're all winners in our eyes!

Now, on to the big winners...

Overall winners

GSK UK Young Engineer of the Year 2021

Kaede Sugano, a year 12 student from Rugby School, was crowned GSK UK Young Engineer of the Year 2021 for her project, ‘RIHLA’.

Challenged by her grandparents to find a perfect holiday for their 50th wedding anniversary, Kaede developed a website which compares package holidays and suggests the one that best meets a traveller’s needs, using an algorithm she created.

GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year 2021

Kell Johnston, a year 12 student from Queen Elizabeth High School was crowned GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year 2021 for his project, ‘Does willow extract have beneficial impact when rooting cuttings?’

In his project, Kell wanted to determine whether willow water extract could be used to promote root growth for a range of different plant cuttings. The study identified whether naturally-sourced extract from basket willow (salix viminalis) was effective at helping cuttings take root and the outcome provided useful information for horticulturists and botanists.

Core prize winners

Senior engineering category

Bhuvan Belur, a year 13 student from Westminster School in London, has been awarded the winner’s prize in the senior engineering category for his project titled ‘Senseborg Belt’.

For his project, Bhuvan made a custom device he designed to improve the wearer's sense of balance, particularly to help those with Parkinson’s and vertigo.

SCIENCE Senior Clara Norenberg

Senior science category

Clara Norenberg, a year 13 student from Oxford High School GDST, has been awarded the winner’s prize in the senior science category for her project titled ‘Producing a super-absorbent polymer based on chitosan’.

Clara’s project was an experiment to develop an affordable hydrogel, which could be added to soil to help plants, particularly in dry conditions retain as much moisture as possible.

[Video coming soon]

Intermediate engineering category

Ludovica Knight, a year 10 student from St Catherine’s College in Eastbourne, has been awarded the winner’s prize in the intermediate engineering category for her project titled ‘Mechanical energy storage for African village’.

Ludovica made a model demonstration of a mechanical energy storage system. As part of the project, she used a model wind turbine, an old clock spring and gearbox connected to a DC alternator to show that wind energy can be collected in the spring and stored for later use.

Intermediate science category

Alex Lockyer, a Year 10 student from Brentwood School, Essex has been awarded the winner’s prize in the intermediate science category for his project titled ‘Can a computer Software programme alleviate the symptoms of OCD?’

Alex’s project was inspired by his search for a way to help a sufferer of OCD and he adapted an approach he had seen on a documentary where a team of scientists developed an app to tackle obesity.

Junior engineering category

Serena Jacob, a year 9 student from Bedford Girls School in Bedford has been awarded the winner’s prize in the junior engineering category for her project titled ‘DM2.Prevent’.

Serena created an app to prevent or potentially even treat Type 2 Diabetes. The app targets reversible risk factors for the disease and provides ways to reduce those risks. Based on data inputted by the user, the app calculates personalised risk scores and generates a user-specific plan to reduce their risk.

Junior science category

James Barber, a year 8 student from St Faith’s School, Cambridge has been awarded the winner’s prize in the junior science category for his project titled ‘An investigation into the anti-microbial properties of different mouthwashes’.

James’ first aim was to find out whether he could grow microbes from a blue cheese vein on a culture plate made from gelatine, water, yeast extract and a glucose tablet, in a controlled environment. He then wanted to see which of his family member’s mouthwash was the best at killing microbes.

Place at 62nd London International Youth Science Forum 2021

Surya Vijayanand from Trinity School with his project 'Building a bionic forearm from scratch to replicate human hand movements'.

The BAE Systems Advancement in Technology Award

Evelyn Williams, Lily Dimitrova and Izzi Rissbrook from Leicester Grammar School Trust with their project 'Smart Tendon'.

The Colum McNally Cheeky Potato Award

Olivia Cash, Serrinah Drammeh, Jarrah Drammeh, Jen Dainty, and Charlotte Whiteman from Walton Priory Middle School with their project 'Scooterbus'.

The Energy Institute climate change special award

Gianpaolo Ruju from Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School with his project 'HydroCharge - a portable mobile device charger powered by flowing water'.

The Intellectual Property Office Award for outstanding innovator

Amy Greener from Sir William Borlase's Grammar School with her project 'Backup Bivies'.

The Just Eat Takeaway ‘Sustainability in the Food Industry’ Special Award

Roselyn Kamugisha from Aylesbury High School with her project 'The perfect hydroponic setup'.

The Network Rail Innovation in Transport Award

Seb Raper and Jacob Ingleston-Orme from Repton School with their project 'REPTILE'.

The Royal Air Force Teamwork Award

Guarav Kamath and Nidilan Srikajanan from Reading School with their project 'Biomimicry: a revolutionary idea for the future'.

The Siemens Award for Digital Skills

Samuel Amos-Osebeyo from Reading School with his project 'Search and rescue robot for LICS'.

The Special Award for Practical Science

Mrs Roy, STEaM Lead and Maths teacher, from Sacred Heart High School.

The Stantec Developing Future Communities Award

Saashi Ghaie from Coleraine Grammar with her project 'Improved face mask design and materials for a Covid-19 world'.