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A student from The Hurst Community College has been named as AWE’s Young Scientist of the Year.
Will Maidment, 14, of Tadley, won the prize after impressing judges with his commitment to science, as a regular contributor to class discussions and through his ability to inspire others.
The competition was launched during the summer term, with teachers across North Hampshire and West Berkshire being invited to nominate a student from Year 9 students who they consider to be an outstanding young scientist.
The entries were blind-judged by a panel of AWE’s most senior scientists who were impressed by the standard of entries and enthusiasm of all the students who had been nominated.
The quality of entries was so good, that the judges said it was hard to choose between Will, and runner up Alice Laidler, from Kennet School, in Thatcham. Therefore both promising students were invited to tour the facility and meet some of the company’s scientists and engineers.
The trophy was presented to Will by Andrew Randewich, AWE’s head of plasma physics, during a visit to AWE’s stunning new Orion laser facility on Monday (October 8). Alice received an engraved photo plaque.
Will said: “It was fantastic to be given the chance to go round the Orion facility, and to hear how the lasers work. It was also a great opportunity to meet scientists and to get an appreciation of what it’s like working in their chosen field. It’s encouraged me to think about taking my science studies on to A level.”
Andrew Randewich, Head of Profession for Physics at AWE said: “It was fantastic to see the high standard of the entries for this competition, and a pleasure to take the winners round the Orion laser here at AWE.
“Hopefully we have further increased their already considerable enthusiasm for science by showing them the kind of facility operated to achieve world-leading ‘big science’.”
Three other entrants will receive a small trophy to recognise that they were finalists in the competition.
They are: Leela Richardson from The Willink School, Burghfield Common; Saskia Tilbury from The Clere School, in Burghclere; and Phillip Coulam-Jones from Denefield School in Reading.
Notes to Editors
1. AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent.
2. AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.
3. For further information contact Media@AWE.co.uk or 01189855888.