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Shell’s Bright Ideas Competition - Regional Champion Bertie O

Recently a number of Terra Nova pupils entered Shell’s ‘Bright Ideas’ competition. The pupils were invited to imagine creative ideas for how cities of the future might be powered to be vibrant, healthy and clean places to live. Shell were keen to hear the bright ideas of the entrants to power future cities that could ‘Generate more clean and affordable energy and/or make the city more energy efficient’.



Entrants were asked to think about things such as;

  • How earth may be in 2050: the size of the population and the impact that might have on resources?

  • What problems future generations may face, including environmental, economic and social issues?

  • What may future cities need energy for and how could these cities become more energy efficient?

  • What type of innovations might exist that would help to generate clean and affordable energy for a city's citizens?

Pupils were given a workbook to help them complete their entry. They started by developing a project plan and then undergoing research on key areas related to energy in future cities. The entrants then explored technological and social innovations and developed their ideas further before completing their entry alongside supporting material to further their idea and bring it to life!


Prizes on offer included:

  • £2,500 to boost our school’s STEM offering

  • Exciting STEM-packed goodie bags

  • A facilitated STEM workshop at our school this term

We are delighted to announce that our Year 7 pupil Bertie O did exceptionally well and is currently the Regional Champion of the North West! As a result of this we were delighted to welcome a member of Shell’s Bright Idea team to our TN Science Lab for the workshop with our Year 7 pupils. After the workshop, Bertie gave a very impressive 30 second pitch to the Shell representative about his bright idea, this pitch is a further chance for Bertie to become the National Champion of the competition.


Bertie’s competition entry chose to focus on the lack of energy captured in London, “the key problem is that we are not using the energy that is available to us for free and our cities are not self-sufficient in producing their own energy.” When submitting his entry, Bertie chose to write that we “should get more electricity from the sun and make a dent in our fossil fuel usage” he also noted that as we get so much rain in England this is also something that we should be using to capture energy from. Bertie worked out that London alone collects 200,000 tons of rain each year and used this statistic to support his entry.


I noticed London was using lots of energy but not capturing much, and I wanted to change that. I found this project fun but also it was hard work!

-Bertie O



Bertie designed a building that would capture energy from rain, wind, sun and human activity. His design includes wind turbines that would face the prevailing wind to optimise wind energy captured, a pyramid shaped roof covered with solar panels and oversized rain gutters that feed into drain pipes that include hydro-electric dynamos. To capture human activity that can be turned into energy, Bertie also plans for the building to be fitted with kinetic paved stairs and floors that produce electricity when used. There is also a playground and nature area that will capture energy from the movement of children.


We are very proud of Bertie for his brilliant design and the extensive research that went into creating his idea that gives us hope for a cleaner, eco-friendly future.


Bertie has been invited to attend the virtual awards ceremony at 4pm on Friday the 9th of July, where we will find out whether Bertie has been chosen as the finalist and/or national champion, plus a chance to win more prizes!

“Bertie has always been a passionate scientist and he took on this task with so much enthusiasm. All of the ideas were his own and no matter how much I offered to help he was adamant that he was ok to continue alone. I am so proud of him and it makes me really happy that he has won this achievement.”

-Miss Higgin, Head of Science


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