A MIDDLE school is in the finals for a national science competition.

Corbridge Middle School is the only school from the North East to have a team of students in the finals of the National Big Bang Science Competition.

One of the school's EcoClub teams, an extracurricular science club, produced the project 'Energy Sources for a Resilient Community', and are in the running for two special prizes - The Royal Air Force Teamwork Award and the Energy Institute Climate Change Award.

Meryl Batchelder, the science teacher responsible for organising EcoClub, said: "These young people understand we need more energy resilient systems.

"They completed an independent science project to identify renewable energy systems that could be used to make communities more resilient through solar, wind, and biogas.

"Whatever the outcome, the team should be exceptionally proud of their achievements as, nationally, just 50 projects have been selected for the finals and our team is the only one representing the North East.Hexham Courant: TEAM: (L-R) Joshua, Orran, and Luke with their science project. Image: Corbridge Middle SchoolTEAM: (L-R) Joshua, Orran, and Luke with their science project. Image: Corbridge Middle School

"To be finalists in the Big Bang Fair is a recognition of their hard work, a demonstration of their understanding of the challenges they will face, and the STEM solutions to fix some of the problems they'll inherit." 

The team, comprising of Year 8 students Orran, Joshua, and Luke, made a video on their project and have been interviewed online by judges. If the team wins, they will travel to Birmingham to collect their awards.

Meryl said the team chose a community off-grid to share energy resources and tested with models of solar panels, wind turbines and a biogas generator before collecting the results. 

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She added: "The competition opens their eyes to life beyond school and in careers in STEM - these small scale projects imitate big scale science jobs."

Meryl said all three students want careers in the scientific field, and after summer will be moving on to high school. 

Environmental education is important to prepare children for the future, Meryl said, when the impact of climate change will only continue to increase.

"We're encouraging them to look at STEM solutions to give them a better idea of how they can solve those problems."

She said Corbridge Middle School is 'incredible' with their efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

Along with a new clothes recycling bank, Headteacher Adele Brown is making efforts to reduce the school's waste production and put it on a sustainable track going forward.