Young Water Dragons Competition Winner Announced

Article Date: 23rd March 2017











Following in the footsteps of the highly successful ‘Water Dragons’, Young Water Dragons was formally launched during the 2017 Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham.

Young Water Dragons celebrates the UK’s future creative thinkers, leaders and entrepreneurs in the water sector.  The aim of the competition is to encourage schools to think differently about water, to develop projects and new ideas which challenge our thinking.

During the four days of the Big Bang Fair, which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) – Future Water Association judged projects from over a dozen schools, with subjects ranging from ‘Could Algae Save the world’; ‘Morbosphere and reducing Malaria’; ‘Aquatic Pacer’; ‘Hydroponic systems’ ‘Hydro-power’ ‘microbes and wastewater treatment’ and many more.  

Chair of the Judges, Alastair Moseley commented “I was really impressed with all of the young people that we met and the work that they had prepared - and they were all so articulate and mature in the way that they presented their work. It was quite a humbling but nonetheless heart-warming experience”.

The winners, announced at the Big Bang Fair Awards ceremony, were Teesside High School with the project ‘Could Algae Save the World’, which tackled turning algae into a fuel source. The team looked at algae growth rates, how to increase the rates and how to maximise energy output. A full scale prototype photo bioreactor is now in development with Northumbrian Water. They were in the Junior Category and were aged 14 and 15. The Team members were: Gabriella Bell; Jenny Lee-Orlopp and Hannah Foster.

Fellow judges commented that they were ‘Impressed with the maturity, inventiveness and the natural approach of the competitors; it was great to see that there were no boundaries to their thinking and creativity’ 

The judges also felt that two other projects should be Highly Commended:

Gillingham School and their Morbosphere: ‘Can it reduce the spread of Malaria’, and the Chelmsford County High School for Girls with their project ‘Aquatic Pacer’.

Presenting the awards Paul Horton, CEO of Future Water Association said “Encouraging young people to become involved in the water sector is essential to the future. The winners, along with all the other projects reviewed, show that forward looking ideas abound in young minds. Young Water Dragons aims to encourage, support and develop this future thinking”

This initiative is supported by:


Related initiatives:

Water Dragons 2017

Water Dragons Final 2016 & Young Water Dragons Initiative 



Additional Information:

The Future Water Association Judges were:

·         Alastair Moseley, Chair of Innovation, Future Water Association;

·         Shana Meeus, Principal Statistician, Artesia Consulting Ltd

·         Dr. Yadira Bajón Fernández, Academic Fellow – Chemical Engineering, Cranfield University

·         Jonathan Bush, Chair CIWEM West Midlands Branch   

The judging criteria:

1.             Their creativity in the concept of the technology or service or idea that they are presenting

2.             Their understanding of the potential size and value of the market for their technology or service

3.             The strength and depth of their research into the need for the technology or service – what is already out there?

4.             Their business case to bring their technology or service to market and how to develop it profitably

5.             The quality of their presentation, both in their report, as well as on the day.

The Projects:

Winners – Teesside High School ‘Could Algae save the world’ – the team look at algae growth rates, how to increase the rates and maximise energy output. A full scale prototype photo bioreactor is now in development with Northumbrian Water.

Highly Commended:

·         Gillingham School (Group number 5660) with their project ‘The Morbosphere: Can it reduce the spread of Malaria’ which was a floating vibrating sphere that the group had created which disrupts the surface tension of the water surface on which the Mosquito eggs lie until they hatch, making them sink below the water surface and become unviable. The Team members were Zack Glindon; Alex Handley; Cameron Woodhouse; Thomas Hollingsworth

·         Chelmsford County High School for Girls with their project ‘Aquatic Pacer’ – a feedback system designed for use underwater for distance swimming

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. It takes place from 15-18 March 2017 at The NEC, Birmingham. It is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals for young people aged 7 to 19.

This was posted by future water association in Industry News

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