GSK Mission: Fight Malaria Challenge 2016 - winners announced!

05 December 2016

On November 29, our 2016 Schools Challenge Mission: Fight Malaria culminated in a prestigious Final at the Science Museum, London, and six finalist teams showed us how they had joined the battle against malaria. 

GSK’s legacy of fighting malaria stretches back more than a century and we recently teamed up with Comic Relief to combat the disease. We wanted students aged 11 to 14 to join in the fight too, and this year we made malaria the focus of our 2016 Schools Challenge.

Since the Challenge launched in June 2016, hundreds of students from across the country have worked on ways of preventing malaria in one of four categories: bed nets, breeding grounds, new technologies and education. Developed with teachers, the Challenge encouraged students to use investigative, practical problem-solving and teamworking skills. In October, six teams were selected to present their ideas at the Final and worked with science and communications mentors from GSK to help them bring their ideas to life.

As the finalist teams presented their findings to an eager audience, it was clear to see that hours of work had been dedicated to creating outstanding presentations. The finalist’s ideas ranged from propagating mosquito-repelling plants around Lake Victoria to a digital awareness campaign. All teams spoke passionately and knowledgeably about their investigations, and they clearly knew their stuff as they deftly handled the tough questions from our four judges:

  • Kerry O’Callaghan – Vice President, Global Brand at GSK
  • Andy Wright – Vice President, Global Health Programmes at GSK
  • Adam Askew – Head of Funding Partnerships, Comic Relief
  • Roxanne El-Hady – UK Young Scientist of the Year 2016

All teams were commended for their fantastic presentations, but after a tough deliberation the judges picked a winner and runner up teams:

  • 1st Place: Gaya and Schuyler, North London Collegiate School. Gaya and Schuyler investigated and developed a method for making non-toxic mosquito repellent from 100% natural ingredients. Their idea is to provide communities with the tools to make the repellent so they can protect themselves from malaria. We loved their energy on stage and their achievable and sustainable idea!
  • 2nd Place: Richard and Lewis, Teddington School. Richard and Lewis investigated mosquito breeding grounds and environmental ideas for protecting people in these areas.
  • 3rd Place: Thomas and Rohin, Portsmouth Grammar School. Thomas and Rohin developed a website to raise malaria awareness for people with internet access, and offline equivalents for those without digital capabilities.

These teams win a trip to one of our leading GSK research labs to see cutting-edge science in action. The 1st and 2nd placed teams also receive science equipment vouchers for their schools worth up to £1500, Science Museum vouchers worth up to £50 for each student, and a trophy to display with pride!

Well done to everyone who entered - we loved seeing all your ideas for fighting malaria. We offer particular congratulations to our other excellent finalists, too:

  • Lady Eleanor Holles School
  • Tiffin School
  • Preston School Academy

The day was testament to how meeting real scientists and thinking creatively about real issues can bring out the scientist in young people, and engage students in careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Register now to be the first to hear about other exciting opportunities to get involved with GSK Science Education.