School Pupils Get Top Marks at World Materials Day

On 1 November fifteen pupils from four UK schools visited the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London to celebrate World Materials Day 2004. These pupils represented the short-listed groups in a schools poster competition which aimed to raise awareness of materials, minerals and mining in schools.

Teams of up to four pupils had to create a poster on one of five given topics – the energy efficient home, recycling, transport for the future, medical implants, and sports materials - covering the whole materials cycle and future developments in the particular field. A large number of posters were received from schools across the UK and the standard of presentation was very high. In the end three teams from each class (age 13-16, and age 16-18) were short-listed to attend a special event in London to give presentations on their work. The standard of the presentations was excellent and despite being nervous, the pupils gave brilliant performances. The judges, Dave Egner from Corus, Gary Hannan from Anglo American plc and Marion Ingle from London Metropolitan University, faced a difficult task.

The winners of the Class I competition were Melika Bouncir, Claire Cherry, Roseanna Finnigan and Katie Stephens from Carr Hill High School in Blackpool, which has recently been awarded Engineering Specialist Status. They produced a very creative poster entitled “the Eco-House” which focussed on how we can save energy around the home and gave an excellent presentation in which they described experiments which they had conducted to investigate saving energy.

The winning team in the Class II competition was also from Carr Hill High School, and consisted of Hollie Groome, Andrew Patterson, Oliver Proctor and Hazel Sumner who created a poster looking at transport for the future. They gave a very interesting and eye-opening presentation on alternative fuels for cars.

Each member of the winning teams received Amazon vouchers, and their school received £250 and free membership of the Institute’s Schools Affiliate Scheme. The schools representing the runners up in each class - King Edward VI Handsworth in Birmingham, The Perse School in Cambridge and Carr Hill High School - also received membership of the Schools Affiliate Scheme.

Notes for Editors:

  1. World Materials Day was launched in 2003 by the International Organization of Materials, Metals & Minerals Societies (IOMMMS), of which the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is a member.
  2. The World Materials Day Student Contest was developed specifically to involve students from around the world, showcase their efforts to advance the world knowledge of materials and the importance of materials in everyday life, and offer a monetary prize. The contest was set up to allow each Member Society to participate by following the general criteria but giving them the flexibility to create their own competition within their country involving materials students — a worldwide co-operative project.
  3. The Member Societies that participated in the First Annual World Materials Day Student Contest in 2003 were: TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, USA); ASM International (USA); ISS (The Iron & Steel Society, USA); JIM (The Japan Institute of Metals); CSM (The Chinese Society for Metals); Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (UK); The Korean Institute of Metals and Materials; Indian Institute of Metals.
  4. The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is the professional body for the materials, minerals and mining community, based in London, UK, but with members worldwide. Information about the Institute and its activities can be found on the Institute’s website at
  5. The Institute’s Schools Affiliate Scheme provides information, support materials and resources for the teaching of the materials element of science and technology courses in schools.
  6. For further information contact Diane Talbot, Education Co-ordinator at the Institute, Email

Date Posted: 3 November 2004

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