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Waingels STEM Girls Receive Flying Visit from The Prime Minister

Our three Youth Grand Challenge runners up and a selection of our Year 8 & 9 Tripel A students received a surprise visit from our Local MP and Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday 26 January 2018. 

Aimee Wallace, Grace Roylance and Mia Wooldridge were runners up in their category at the Youth Grand Challenge Finals in December 2017. The competition, run by the British Science Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, calls on young people aged 11-to-19-years to use science and technology to help solve global health and development challenges. The three Waingels scientists designed a floating garden to help battle malnutrition in developing countries by saving crops that would have otherwise been destroyed in periods of flooding. The Prime Minister also met with a group of Year 8 and 9 students who have excelled in a range of extra-curricular challenges that are offered as part of the Triple A stretch and challenge programme at the school. These challenges included essay writing, coding and decryption, languages, enterprise and STEM projects.  

In a joint statement, Aimee, Grace and Mia said: “The whole experience of the competition was life changing and we’re looking forward to our prize visit to the Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. We will get to experience -25C temperatures as well as the Antarctic aquariums and talk to real scientists. Presenting our work to the Prime Minister was nerve wracking but very exciting.”

Ms Kohlman our Lead Practitioner and Science teacher, who leads the Triple A programme said: “I am continually amazed by our fantastic students. The poise, confidence and passion for learning they demonstrated in the meeting with the Prime Minister was admirable, especially as they didn’t know who they were meeting with until less than an hour before she arrived. It was wonderful to have their hard work in these extra-curricular activities so publicly recognised, this is especially true for Aimee, Mia and Grace who have put in a huge amount of time in perfecting their floating garden, demonstrating real commitment and drive.”

Mr Bartlett welcomed the Prime Minister’s visit. “Theresa May has been a great supporter of Waingels and she has been a regular visitor over the past 10 years as MP, Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister. We are delighted that she was able to visit us and meet our students. It was a perfect opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students in the recently published performance tables and an amazing accolade for Aimee, Grace and Mia, one that they will cherish.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It was a pleasure to visit Waingels College again and hear of the outstanding work that has been achieved. I was particularly pleased to meet Aimee, Grace and Mia and to hear about the Youth Grand Challenge, which I hope has inspired them and many others to become our next generation of successful innovators and scientists. A lot of work by both staff and pupils has gone into making Waingels the success it is today, and I look forward to hearing more of its progress and achievements in the future.”


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