GIFTED science pupils from the Thomas Hardye School are in the running for a major national title.

Projects on earthquakes and sea lice have seen two students from the Dorchester School secure a place at the final of the National Science and Engineering Competition.

Akanksha Kiran impressed with her work on measuring the accuracy, precision and other potential uses of the school seismometer and will now vie with other students for the national title at the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC in Birmingham in March, She said: “The most important discoveries and inventions are down to science and engineering, and this contest has helped me to realise that I want to be a part of that in the future.”

Fellow Year 13 pupil Annie Macklin had her project on sea lice accept for the finals of the competition.

She began her work last year as part of a Nuffield Research Placement to provide Year 12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students with four to six week project experience in universities, commercial companies and research institutions.

Annie spent five weeks at CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) in Weymouth assessing the toxicity of chemicals on sea lice that parasitise marine copepods.

Both students presented reports and posters on their projects at a regional event at Bristol’s M-Shed Museum last October and they were selected for the national final as a result.

Their work will be showcased in front of 60,000 visitors and they will have to make a pitch before celebrity judges. Imran Khan is chief executive of the British Science Association which runs the competition.

Visit for more information about this year’s competition.