Meet the bright sparks set to light up Sunderland this Christmas

Youngsters at Grindon Hall Christian School are already in the Christmas spirit.
Youngsters at Grindon Hall Christian School are already in the Christmas spirit.
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Five Sunderland ‘bright sparks’ are set to light up Sunderland with their winning Christmas design.

Louie Karim, Dylan Craggs, Lennon Rose, Isabelle Marshall-Graham and Isabel Patterson, from Grindon Hall Christian School wowed the judges with their design, which will be part of Wearside’s festive illuminations.

We are incredibly proud of our winners and they are very excited to see the grand unveiling of their light in November

Nick Gordon

Year 4 and 5 pupils from seven schools across the city took part in Northern Powergrid’s ‘Light up Sunderland’ competition.

The competition saw pupils take part in STEM (Science, English, Engineering and Maths) based workshops which focused on community and the people within their area who may need extra support in a power cut.

They also explored energy efficiency and design skills to prepare them to design a community-themed Christmas light.

Winners from each school took part in a mini engineering appreciation day at the company’s training school in Durham.

The day was full of hands-on fun and educational activities, including off-road driving and circuit building, before the children presented their ideas in a ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch to a specially selected panel of judges which included the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris McKnight.

Nick Gordon, a teacher at Grindon Hall Christian School, said the children had loved being part of the competition.

He said: “It has pushed them to try something new and think in a different way about STEM subjects, community and electricity.

“We are incredibly proud of our winners and they are very excited to see the grand unveiling of their light in November.”

Coun McKnight, said: “The children and everyone at their schools really did everyone proud, with the skills, talent and determination they showed in this competition.

“My congratulations to our winners, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to seeing their display which will be part of the Sunderland Christmas lights switch-on later this year.”

Stephanie Burras, Chief Executive of social enterprise, Ahead Partnership, which worked with Northern Powergrid on the event, said: “This project is an excellent way for pupils to explore the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths while also practicing other key skills for future employment such as teamwork, communication and creative-thinking.”

Siobhan Barton, from Northern Powergrid and a Light up Sunderland judge, said: “It’s fantastic to see young, creative minds from our local communities exploring STEM subjects in a fun way.

“We wanted the children to think about the hidden heroes in their communities. Community spirit certainly shone through in the winning design and the children should be extremely proud.”