2015 Competition Winners

2015 Copper Education Competition: Curious About Copper

UK students aged 11–16 were asked to design an educational poster, which would appeal to their peers, explaining particular applications of copper and the properties that make it essential to modern living.

Within the two age groups (Key Stage 3, 11–14 and Key Stage 4, 14–16) a winner and a runner up were selected from each of the following categories. Students were expected to address the questions, although innovative explorations of each subject were also welcomed.

Buildings and Design
Copper and its alloys have been a material of choice for architects and designers for centuries. Why? What are the properties of copper that make it such a versatile and attractive material?

Electronics and Communication
Copper has played a key role in the development of electrical applications and is used everywhere from smart phones to space exploration. What are the properties that make it so useful?

Health and Medicine
We need copper in our diets to stay healthy, and its inherent germ-killing ability makes it the ultimate hygienic material. Why is it essential to our health?  How can it contribute to safer hospitals?

The winners are presented below. Click any poster to see a larger version.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7–9, Ages 11–14)

Buildings and Design Winner

Charles Millett, 14, The Commonweal School 

 The judges found this poster to contain an impressive amount of information relevant to the topic, all presented in a balanced way. The evaluative statements included suggest the author thought carefully about the content.

With an attractive design, this poster carries strong copper messages and conveys them in an interesting way.

Buildings and Design Runner-up

Isha Lalli, 14, Chesham Grammar School 

This poster contained good, well-researched information that was all very relevant to buildings and architecture. The design also appealed to the judges and made it stand out from other entries.

Electronics and Communication Winner

Sacha Marlow, 14, The Commonweal School
This poster is distinctive and beautifully presented with high quality graphics. The information is interesting and very relevant to the subject. It is also well-balanced in terms of not overloading the viewer with too much information whilst not being too shallow.

This poster was a clear winner thanks to its excellent design and well thought-out messaging.

Electronics and Communication Runner-up

Ellie Hunt, 14, Royal Masonic School

This poster is clear and well-presented, showing an appealing originality of design. The information is relevant and nicely detailed, and the layout makes it easy and attractive for the viewer to read.


Health and Medicine Winner

Mohammed Ibrahim Beg, 13, Elgin Academy
The focus of this poster is very clear, containing a lot of useful information presented in a manner that helps the reader move through it in a coherent way.

The judges felt this poster deserved first place thanks to the interesting, scientific story it tells.

Health and Medicine Runner-up

Lily Mason, 13, Edgbaston High School

This poster's design caught the judges' eyes with its immediate, very clear messaging. The information is relevant and well-presented.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10–11, Ages 14–16)

Buildings and Design Winner

Harriet Lingard
, 16, The Lady Eleanor Holles School

The range of information presented on this poster was exceptional, and the overall presentation and use of graphics was considered to be well above the standard of other entries.

Buildings and Design Runner-up

Maria Skaria, 14, King Edward VI High School

Beginning with a very good design idea, this poster contains relevant information presented in a logical way that helps the reader understand why copper is important in buildings. The Statue of Liberty image helped to add interest.

Electronics and Communication Winner

Mollie Tettenborn, 15, Exeter School

The detailed scientific information on this poster shows a good understanding of the chemistry of copper. The poster also looks at interesting and relevant current and future applications of the red metal.

The judges felt overall that this poster was extremely well designed and presented.

Electronics and Communication Runner-up

Manil Rai, 14, Simon Langton Grammar School

This poster also shows a solid understanding of copper's chemistry, and examines how that makes it an essential component of electronic devices. It too had a good design and contained nicely-presented details.

Health and Medicine Winner

Ola Zajac, 15, Rainham Mark Grammar School

This poster was a clear winner thanks to the quality of the information it presents. It stood out from other posters thanks to its forward-looking consideration of how copper could help us survive the so-called 'superbugs' currently threatening our healthcare systems.

The strong range of information, in addition to the story this poster tells, drew it to the judges' attention.

Health and Medicine Runner-up

Chi Vo, 15, Madras College

The judges were impressed by the unique approach this poster took to addressing the topic. Whilst it may be considered slightly off-target, they felt it deserves recognition for its originality and beautiful design. It also presents interesting and detailed information and uses a range of information sources going beyond those used in most other posters.

Highly Commended

The judges awarded Highly Commended to three posters, based on the unique qualities each displayed that made them stand out from other entries.

At just 9 years old, Aston Merry was technically below the age of entry, but the judges were extremely impressed by the depth and quality of the information his poster contained, and also by its excellent and very striking presentation. Click here to see him explain the concept behind his poster.

Lauryn Cole of Emrys Ap Iwan came up with a highly original design for her poster, presenting it as a multi-layered iPhone. This caught the judges' eyes and would likely make it very relevant and appealing to the target audience.

Maxfield Long of Community College Whitstable was given Highly Commended for making the judges laugh with a unique and very contemporary approach to presenting the information. Take a look on the right-hand side if you're curious!


Richard Needham

Click here to see Richard Needham of the Association for Science Education  – one of the competition judges – explain how and why the winners were chosen.

Charles Millett, The Commonweal School
Sacha Marlow, The Commonweal School
Mohammed Ibrahim Beg, Elgin Academy
Lily Mason, Edgbaston High School
Harriet Lingard, The Lady Eleanor Holles School
Maria Skaria, King Edward VI High School
Mollie Tettenborn, Exeter School
Manil Rai, Simon Langton Grammar School
Ola Zajac, Rainham Mark Grammar School
Chi Vo, Madras College
Aston Merry, Age 9
Lauryn Cole, Emrys ap Iwan
Maxfield Long, Community College Whitstable
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