Esha Wins STEM Project Award
Inspiring inquisitive minds to think big, challenge facts, ask questions and come up with solutions, the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition is open to young people in the UK aged 11 to 19 in state funded education. During the summer of 2022, Esha in Year 13 independently completed a STEM project for which she was awarded the Senior Science prize. She received a cash prize along with a trophy and certificate to mark this achievement.
In Esha's words, here is a brief description of her project:
Everything we observe in the universe - planets, stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. - was created as a result of minute density variations in the early Universe. These places were only 0.001% denser than the surrounding areas. It took billions of years for these tiny "over-densities" to expand under the pull of gravity and finally give rise to everything we can currently comprehend. With initial conditions that are meant to mimic those of the early cosmos, I may simulate this lengthy process on a supercomputer in a matter of minutes by allowing it to evolve under the influence of virtual gravity.
My project was focused on astrophysics and the application of computer science to use N-Body simulations to explore how structure evolved in our universe. I altered various parameters such as omega dark energy/matter and observed how the simulation produced different results. From the data I received from the supercomputer, I was able to plot graphs using Matplotlib (which is a comprehensive Python plotting library) and draw conclusions to answer questions relating to cosmology, allowing me to receive the Senior Science Prize as part of the Big Bang Competition!
I hope my story inspires more students to get involved in brilliant opportunities like these!
Esha - Year 13