Scots students named amongst winners in global stem essay competition

STUDENTS from across the globe had their achievements recognised when they were named winners in the 2023 TechFest global STEM Next research and essay competition.

Amongst the winners were Scots students Mrinalini and Hemenetra Muralidaran, who are pupils at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen.

Other Scots winners included Kit Nugent from Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh and Muhammad Saad Khan from St Mungo’s Academy, Glasgow.  

Image supplied with release by the Big Partnership group.
Some of the competition winners.

The competition invited students aged 16 – 18 to write an essay based on one of three categories – Energy in Action, Life Sciences and Medicine or Chemistry and Biological Sciences, with more than 500 students entering from across the globe.

The competition intends to bridge the skills gap between school, higher education and industry.  

Students had to carry out independent research on their chosen topic, with support from pre-recorded lectures and online resources developed by TechFest in collaboration with lecturers from the University of Aberdeen. 

A team of 46 volunteers from various organisations, gave up their time to be interviewed by participants and to help with the essay marking. 

The virtual awards ceremony was hosted by TechFest’s education manager Dr Yashka Smith and STEM lead, Gabija Blazyte, with each of the winners receiving Amazon vouchers as prizes.

Dr Smith said: “We were once again impressed by the extremely high standard of submissions we received.

“Topics ranged from the impact of ovarian aging, how to improve our mental wellbeing and addressing the STEM skills gap to looking at whether we can make new build buildings do more to benefit the environment.

“It was clear that the winners had devoted a great deal of time and energy to developing their essays and the judges were extremely impressed by the final pieces of work.  

“A huge thanks must go to our volunteers who were instrumental in ensuring the competition’s success by giving freely of their time and their expertise to support all the students who took part this year.” 

The final can be viewed at

The full list of prize winners: 

Energy In Action  

  • Kit Nugent, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh   
  • Geetika Gupta, Kellett School, Hong Kong 
  • Muhammad Saad Khan, St Mungo’s Academy, Glasgow  

Medicine and Life Sciences 

  • Divit Kelmani, Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Buckinghamshire 
  • Mrinalini Muralidaran, Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen 
  • Akshara Suresh, Altrincham School for Girls, Greater Manchester 

Chemistry & Biological Sciences  

  • Marisa Toms, Haberdashers’ Girls School, Hertfordshire 
  • Fahima Amiri, The Grey Coat Hospital School, London 
  • Hemenetra Muralidaran, Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen