Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 18-03-2014

Manx students cause a stir at Big Bang event

by Joanne Clague

Manx students cause a stir at Big Bang event - picture

A school project reached the finals of a major UK science contest - but was banned from getting any further because the Isle of Man is a crown dependency.

QEII High School students beat strong competition to become North West Young Engineers 2013 for their 'grow your own clothes' scheme, qualifying for the finals of the national Big Bang young scientists and engineers fair. But organisers said the entry was the first ever received from the Isle of Man and raised the issue of supporting non-UK residents.

The girls were told: 'As the competition's main funder is the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, we have been working with them to find a resolution to this issue. As I?m sure you'll understand BIS are unable to support non-UK residents. We would still like your team to attend the National Finals, however, your team will not be eligible for the core prizes provided by BIS, but will be eligible for any sponsor prizes that may be suitable for their discipline.'

The girls behind the project have called on the Manx Government to host its own Big Bang fair.

One of the winners, Millie Barrow said: 'It is a real shame that students from the Island will not have the opportunity to take part in the future. Over 70,000 people attended the fair and it was a great opportunity to showcase our work and meet some of the country?s leading scientists and engineers. Winning a nationally recognised award has opened new opportunities for us, even job offers and apprenticeships. It would be fantastic for students if the Isle of Man Government could run their own little Big Bang Fair.'


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