THE next generation of scientists, creators and technologists in Mid Devon were rewarded for their ingenuity with a string of prizes at The Big Bang South West awards ceremony.

The annual fair, which showcases STEM projects from schools and colleges across the West Country and offers winners the chance to compete for major national awards, was held for the fourth year running at University of Exeter last Thursday.

Blundell's School caught the eye, capped by a nomination in the prestigious National Science + Engineering Competition, and the chance to attend the national finals of the Big Bang Fair in March next year.

The winning project, titled Creative Sport, which saw the students design a gymnasium, will now compete with the nine other regional winners from Exeter against those from the rest of the country at Birmingham NEC for the chance to win prizes worth more than £50,000. But the awards did not stop there for Blundell's entrants, with four more prizes.

Their recycling at school project won Best Communicator in Engineering and Technology, sponsored by AnTech Ltd, which recognised those with 'fantastic communication skills in engineering and technology'.

The school also won the award for the best presented STEM Club stand at the fair, and the Creative Sport project also won a CREST Award, for creativity in a project, process or outcome.

Finally, Blundell's Team A was awarded a Go4Set Exeter Most Innovative Award for its eco-classroom project. The Engineering Development Trust (EDT) developed the Go4Set scheme to stimulate the interest of young people in STEM subjects.

Blundell's teacher Jenny Olive said: “We love the fact that we have so many students involved and that they are thinking about engineering or STEM subjects as a future career. I like the way this project makes them work with engineers, so they get a bit of insight into what their job is and how their STEM subjects fit into that.

“We have four engineers from Mouchel, so they have helped because they are competing against each other, and the teachers get competitive, so it's great fun at the same time. I'd have the whole year group doing it if I could staff it.

“It's growing as well. Last year we had three teams, this year we have four teams. We get the all the year groups involved and they all really love it.”