Almost five hundred students from across the South West were involved in the National Science and Engineering Competition at the 2015 Big Bang South West. Tavistock College Design and Technology student Darcy Brown, aged 13, wowed the judges and picked up two fantastic awards in this high profile STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) event. Darcy was selected along with five A Level students from the school to represent their fantastic product design work on a regional stage at the event hosted by ‘Education Business Partnership – South West’ (EBP-SW) at Exeter University.
The sixth-formers, Emily Spry (who picked up two awards at the previous year’s event), Holly Speare, Will Dax and Ryan Arnold exhibited their beautiful A Level products, while Darcy was chosen from hundreds of other possibles to exhibit her ‘Crazy Camel’ game. The Crazy Camel has been developed by Darcy to be an interactive toy as well as a game and assembly kit which aims to develop making skills and creativity while being a really fun game to play with friends. Darcy produced a finished product, instruction manuals and an assembly kit version and presented her product to the judges with passion, enthusiasm and business acumen.
Organisers of the event commented: “The calibre of student work in the South West is breath taking. Our judges were overwhelmed by the quality of what they saw”. After a fantastic morning of exhibiting, the students took part in a science and technology master-class with a focus on rocket science and then the day came to its climax, the award ceremony. Darcy was stunned when she heard her name read out as a winner of the ‘Enterprising Young Devon award’ for the fantastic business enterprise element to her work. Soon after returning to her seat after the ordeal of having photos and handshakes in front of hundreds of onlookers, Darcy was announced as a regional winner of the Technology and Engineering Award and had won a place at the national finals which will take place at the NEC in March.
Yvonne Paddon (Partnership Adviser EBP-SW) said after the results: “I am absolutely delighted that the Crazy Camel won an Enterprising Young Devon award as not only was it innovative and creative, but also excellently presented, showing before and after assembly and the research process involved. I am looking forward to working both with Darcy, supporting her with a local business, and also with the school on a STEM enterprise day.”
Darcy commented: “I’m really excited and shocked to be given a chance to be in the National Big Bang Finals! I wasn’t expecting to win anything and to win two awards was fantastic. It was a great day and was an experience I definitely will not forget.”
As a result, Darcy has won a local business link that will be set up by EBP-SW which will help Darcy to further develop her product. Darcy has also won a free STEM enterprise day for Tavistock College and she has decided that this will focus on Year 7. Darcy will take a leadership role to help maximise its impact. Head of Technology at the college, Pete Keegan, commented: “We are incredibly proud of all the students who exhibited their work this year. It was great to see such talented students being celebrated. Darcy is a true asset to Technology at the college and we are delighted to have her as a role model to inspire others into Design and Technology.”