A King’s Ely pupil is top of the class after winning a place in the finals of the 2013 National Science and Engineering Competition – one of the UK’s most prestigious science and engineering competitions for young people.

Sixth Form student Tony Lesmeister impressed the judges of the competition, who included TV science star Professor Brian Cox, space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and mathematician and Countdown co-host Rachel Riley, among others, with his research into the relationship between conductivity and grade of pencil lead.

The overall winner will be decided at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, the country’s largest celebration of science and engineering for young people, held at ExCeL London from 14th to 17th March 2013. The Big Bang Fair is run by a number of science associations and companies and is aimed at raising the profile of science, maths and engineering throughout the UK.

Tony’s physics teacher, Ned Kittoe, commented: “Tony’s experiment was to determine the relationship between conductivity and grade of pencil lead (eg 4H to HB to 4B) and was an entirely original piece of work. As a result, Tony was able to draw some conclusions about the exact composition of what most people would regard as a banal, functional item. The examiners commented on the project’s attention to detail and the large amount of information that could be drawn from a carefully planned, simple experiment.

“We are delighted that Tony has made it through to the national finals. However, he won’t be able to attend The Big Bang Fair as it clashes with preparations for his A Levels, which means he cannot win the overall award.”  

Tony added: “I am very privileged to have made it to the finals of this year’s National Science and Engineering Competition. Although I am not able to showcase my project, all the entries are unique and exhilarating and I am truly honoured to have played a part.”

Schools and families across Ely can register for free tickets to The Big Bang Fair by visiting www.thebigbangfair.co.uk


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