New link keeps key test flowing

Pupils at Monkseaton Middle School test a new device that can detect underground water leaks.

Pupils at Monkseaton Middle School test a new device that can detect underground water leaks.

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A school has found itself at the centre of groundbreaking new tests to detect underground water leaks.

The grounds of Monkseaton Middle School, in Whitley Bay, were used to run tests with state-of-the-art technology by Reece Innovation.

The company’s newly-patented, ultra sensitive direction-sensing microphones are the first of their kind, detecting the sounds of tiny underground leaks and their directional flow.

Specialists from the firm wanted to test in a busy school environment, approaching Monkseaton Middle School because of its own commitment to STEM-related subjects.

The school recently saw two teams of students secure places at the national finals of the UK-wide Big Bang Science Fair, which takes place in March in Birmingham.

James Martin, managing director of Reece Innovation, said: “It was wonderful to be able to spend some time at Monkseaton Middle.

“As well as offering us the perfect testing ground, we were able to involve students in the testing.

“A school environment, we discovered, offered the perfect backdrop to our tests as it creates natural, ambient noise, which has peaks and troughs throughout the day, especially at break times and at drop off and pick ups.

“Early results look very promising, so we’re immensely grateful for all the help everyone at Monkseaton Middle School were able to offer.”

Head of science at Monkseaton Middle School, Gillian Whitmell said: “It was fascinating to be able to watch the team from Reece Innovation at work.”

“They proved to the students how valuable a grasp of scientific basics, especially the movement of sound, is to modern technological developments.

“It was great to bring science to life in this way for the pupils, so we’re all very excited to have played our part in helping Reece Innovation develop a product that will have global reach and appeal.”