3M Young Innovators Challenge

A team from Brookvale Groby is taking part in the annual 3M Young Innovators Challenge.  The team of Year 9 & 10 girls, are competing in the Science Detectives challenge this year.  Team picture below of Zoë Cartledge, Poppy Maynard-Smith, Amelie Golesworthy, Amber King and Jess Penlington who also competed last year in the Tower Tech version of the challenge.

This challenge involves using forensic science techniques and investigations to solve a chilling Icelandic mystery; Arctic Research Station Scientist Frank has been found dead and the team are given a number of suspects to investigate.

They must use evidence found at the crime scene, social media evidence and laboratory techniques in order to solve the mystery.

Last week’s part of the challenge was purely about gathering that evidence with the coming weeks devoted to solving the mystery.  There was also chance to perform some exciting laboratory experiments at 3M’s labs in Loughborough, such as infra-red spectroscopy, gas chromatography and titration.


Was it an overdose of medication, dodgy shark cubes or spiked drink? Or was there something more sinister at play and was Frank murdered?

The students must solve the mystery and present a crime report, lab report and present their findings to judges in April.

We’ll have the results of their competition (and indeed the details about what happened to poor Frank) in a future article!

All the girls are enthusiastic about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and hold ambitions to potentially enter the sector in the future.

Zoë said: “I really enjoyed the experience.  CSI is one of my favourite shows and this was great.”

Poppy said: “It was great chance to learn something new and to have a new experience outside of my regular school day.”

Amber said: “It was great to use a technique (titration) that I’d just studied in my chemistry lessons in a real world laboratory.”

Mr Grimley said: “STEM experience is such a great opportunity for our pupils, especially our girls.  Just 9% of engineers in this country are female so there are fantastic prospects for our young people who are interested in STEM.  Activities such as this provide a great “real world” application of techniques they learn in their science or Maths lessons.”