A PYROTECHNIC show, science-related careers talks, star gazing and competitions were some of the activities enjoyed by pupils at Garth Hill College as part of its week-long programme to mark National Science and Engineering Week.

On Wednesday, more than 800 pupils attended pyrotechnic shows by Matthew Tosh, who set off indoor fireworks and demonstrated the various techniques used by display organisers. Pupils were inspired by the show. Rebecca Hartless, 15, said: “Learning about the science be-hind fireworks was an interesting and fun way to discover the prop- erties of different metals – and the demonstrations were cool.” Budding scientists from the school were also invited to take part in an Innovation Project Challenge. They had to define and give an example of innovation, and then went on to develop an innovation of their own. Up for grabs were two iPad minis and judges Sarah Chapman and John Klee, both from Bracknell-based technology firm 3M, had a tough time deciding on the winning projects. The winners were Emily Yates, 14, and Olivia Coxon, 11.

Emily designed a spherical solar cell and reflector dish that could be used to generate electricity anywhere as it could be portable and Olivia put forward plans for a twin double-sized dishwasher.

Speaking about the week, principal Keith Grainger said: “As a specialist science and technology college broadening our pupils’ educational experience through fun and engaging activities is really important.

“Pupils have been inspired by the star gazing in the inflatable planetarium and through events like the firework show and the innovation competition. We are very grateful to all the members of the local community who give their time and support for the benefit of our young people.”