A unique opportunity for students from Teesside to take part in a prestigious London exhibition attended by royalty has left them inspired by the appliance of science.

A group of sixth formers from The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, exhibited alongside university researchers and global technology companies at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, the only school nationally to be invited to take part.

The team were there thanks to a partnership grant awarded by the Royal Society for a joint research project between The King’s Academy and Teesside University.

With their A Level chemistry teacher Dr Brian Casson, the students have been working on a research project led by Dr Anna Reynal, from the university, to create artificial photosynthesis.

The project, called ‘storing sunlight’, was the centrepiece of their stand at the exhibition, which seven of the students and staff manned for the full week in London.

The students discussed their research with visitors and showed demonstrations of hydrogen powered model cars to members of the public and VIPs such as Sir Martyn Poliakoff, Prince Edward Duke of Kent and Chi Onwurah, shadow minister for science and MP for Newcastle Central.

More than 10,000 people visited the exhibition during the week.

Student Antoinette Kalambo said: “I didn’t realise how big a deal it actually was, but it was an absolutely incredible experience that was truly unforgettable.”

Kirsty Roberts said: “It was an amazing opportunity. We talked to people of all backgrounds about our  project, from university academics to members of the public and other school students.”

Dr Casson added: “Presenting our project at the Summer Science Exhibition was an experience beyond all of my expectations. I was so impressed by how professionally the students worked in describing the science of producing renewable fuel from water and sunlight. They showed enthusiasm and energy that made our exhibit very popular.

“Seeing my A level chemistry students representing The King’s Academy and Middlesbrough at such a prestigious national science event made me very proud.”

The Royal Society is the oldest scientific institution in continuous existence in the world whose past presidents include Sir Isaac Newton.