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Seven Students Make the Longlist for the Academy Excellence Awards

A number of sixth formers who submitted essays for the 2012 Academy Excellence Awards have been longlisted by judges.

The Academy Excellence Awards is an initiative to celebrate academic achievement by students at academies.

Academies across the country were invited to nominate one different student per subject category, from a list that includes economics, maths, physics and politics.

The questions are set by experts from The University of Nottingham and this year's overall theme was sustainability.

KSA's Adelle Northern was nominated for the history category and she had to explore how lessons can be learnt from the past in terms of people's well-being. She explored civil rights, the effects on people when they are denied education and the consequences of Nazi Germany.

Sam Barker, another Year 13 student, was put forward for the design and technology award. He had to come up with an idea for a cooker that could be used by people in remote countries. He designed a fuel burner that would be easy and cheap to manufacture and simple to use.

There was also a group category and Shaun Chivers, Aiden Perkins, Shannon Mulvey, Parisa Niasseri and Nicola Gemmill were longlisted in this section - out of 300 group applicants, they made it into the top 10.

The group had to identify a population of between 5,000 and 10,000 people living in the developing world and come up with ways of delivering 20 litres of water per person, per day, for drinking, washing and cooking, including hygiene provision.

The group started by looking at fundraising options and outlined how they would stage a series of concerts. The students then explored how they could collect rainwater and looked at what materials and facilities they would need.

Shaun said: "Although it was all theory based, our ideas had to be realistic. It gave us the experience of working in a team and solving a problem that we wouldn't normally come across. We had to be flexible: it wasn't just a case of reading out of a book because we had to think about how we'd do it ourselves."

The students' essays will now go through to the next stage, where they will be read

by Emily Cummins, inventor, designer and one of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2010, Dr Sam Willis, maritime historian, author and archaeologist and Sam Pinkham and Amy Voce, Breakfast presenters on Nottingham radio station Gem 106.

A shortlist of five students per subject category will be announced on 18 May. Shortlisted students will be invited to represent their academy at an Inspiration Day and Awards Dinner at The University of Nottingham on 4 July.

The Awards steering group includes Anthony McClaran, former chief executive of UCAS; Kate Hobhouse, chairman of Fortnum and Mason and Rusty Elvidge, managing director of Credit Suisse.