MP Stephen Metcalfe said: “I was delighted to be asked to help with judging The Bright Ideas Challenge organised by Shell. These types of competition give young people the opportunity to explore their imagination and come up with creative solutions to real world challenges. I hope that some of the winners will go on and use the experience gained to look closely at what a dynamic and creative sector engineering is in the 21st century.”


Have a read of the winning ideas below which impressed our judges. Congratulations to team ‘The Beautiful Bright Beginning’ from Whalley Range High School who were voted National Champions at Make the Future Live, Shell’s festival of bright energy ideas.

Category School name Team name Their bright idea
National Champions Whalley Range High School The Beautiful Bright Beginning The Beautiful Bright Beginning proposed the creation of ‘Electroes’ – power generating shoes that would use constant movement to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy to power personal devices. Foam pushers in ‘Electroes’ would activate special piezoelectric discs built into the shoe’s soles to generate an electrical current.
Finalist and QEOP winner Heathcote School and Science College Tech-Electrix Tech-Electrix from Heathcote School & Science College created a concept for an Eco-Park that would sit at the heart of every future city answering dual needs: the need to provide increasing amounts of renewable, clean energy and the need to create healthy, vibrant places for residents in heavily populated future cities.
Finalist and Wales winner  St Clare’s School SOS SOS from St Clare’s School recognised the energy potential in hot waste water from baths, showers and cleaning dishes. The team proposed a simple scheme of pipes made from iron and copper running from offices, hotels, restaurants and residential properties.  These pipes would capture the wasted heat energy from hot waste water and convert it into a useful voltage, creating a sustainable energy source to power the building.
Finalist and Scotland winner Woodmill High School Waste-to-Energy Waste-to-Energy proposed a scheme that would see portable bio-refinery machines installed at all local recycling facilities.  These mini refineries would convert organic food waste into ethanol using industrial yeast, while also converting plastics and paper into methane using a gasification unit.  The ethanol and methane produced would then be converted on site into a renewable electrical energy source.
Finalist and West Midlands winner Walton Priory Middle School SCHEPU SCHEPU devised a simple self-contained hydroelectric power unit (SCHEPU) that stacks two tanks on top of each other.  Rain water or water pumped from the ground would be stored in the top tank.  Gravitational potential energy (GPE) stored in water kept at height would provide a clean pollution free source of energy to power LED lights, chargers and small devices as and when needed.
London winner Brentside High School Xchange for Better To address the issue of air pollution in future cities, Team Xchange for Better from Brentside High School, came up with the innovative idea of replicating the process of photosynthesis that occurs in plants, to capture CO2 on an ambitious scale.
Aberdeenshire winner Mintlaw Academy Smart Sparks Smart Sparks looked for a way to power cars in future cities using renewable sources of energy.  The team’s innovative solution was a wind and light powered hybrid powered by solar panels integrated into the car’s roof and a miniature wind turbine at the front of the car’s engine. 
East Midlands winner Toot Hill School M.A.D.E Cooker The team wanted to replace a common daily use of fossil fuels  with an innovative renewable energy solution.  Step forward the MADE (Micro Anaerobic Digester Energy) Cooker!  This innovative energy tank would power kitchens in future city homes. Anaerobic bacteria in the tanks would digest food and garden waste and excrete methane that could then be used as fuel for cookers.  
South East winner Beaconsfield High School Amicis Inventio Amicis Inventio wanted to create the lowest emissions car they could for future city residents. Their renewable energy-powered car included copper ridged friction plates that would collide and heat up a copper-encased thermoelectric generator in the centre of the car. This would provide electrical energy to power the car and its devices as needed. 
North East winner Prudhoe Community High School Our New World Team ‘Our New World’ from Prudhoe Community High School, devised a simple underground turbine system that would harness the huge amount of potential energy available in the increasing volumes of sewage flowing under our cities.  
East of England winner St Clement Danes School STEMgineers STEMgineers from St Clement Danes School, wanted to identify a common source of wasted energy and convert it into power.Their ingenious solution?  A thermocouple! Their design covered future cities with thermoelectric plates to convert the heat difference between cold night air and warmth from inside the building into electricity that could be stored and used to power lights and devices.
Yorkshire & the Humber winner Cottingham High School Unhinged Unhinged came up with the bright idea of harnessing the energy created from the frequent movement of door hinges in buildings in future cities. A tiny generator would be integrated into hinges so that every time the door was opened or closed the hinge would expand and contract spinning a generator. Over the course of a day this generator would produce enough energy to power a single light bulb helping create a self-sufficient source of lighting for busy future city buildings such as offices, schools and universities.
South West winner Atrium Studio School Herb Herb up with an innovative way of converting the kinetic energy created by the millions of steps city residents make each day. The team’s Energy Walk Ways would see blocks made of piezoelectric crystals installed into high footfall areas across future cities - from city centre pavements to shop doorways and play areas.  These blocks would convert the kinetic energy created by pressure and movement on a mass scale into electrical energy, generating power for surrounding buildings.
Ones to Watch winners 2018
Ones to Watch category School name Team Name
Brainy Researchers St Olave’s Grammar school Static 2
Dream Team Larbert High School Roddy and Rory
Talented Presenters Beaconsfield High School Phoenix  Rising
Year 7 Stars Allestree Woodlands School Fidget Four
Year 8 Stars Highworth Grammar School CSGB
Year 9 Stars Altrincham Grammar School for Girls Thermoelectricians

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