SCHOOL pupils have defeated older rivals to take first prize at a science festival.

A team of four year seven pupils from the Durham Free School, in Durham City, beat off competition from rivals a year older to win a University Challenge-style contest at the annual Salters Festival of Chemistry, held at Newcastle University.

The challenge saw pupils carrying out science experiments in a laboratory and writing up a report of their results.

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Later, they watched science demonstrations before taking part themselves.

Durham team member Naomi Denning said: “It was so fun being able to use all the amazing equipment in the labs.

“We didn’t think we had a chance of winning with the other teams all being year eight.

“We couldn’t believe it when they announced we’d got the first prize.”

The other team members were Luke Douglas, Hermione Heathcote and William Forrester.

The festival is a joint venture of the Salters Institute and the Royal Society of Chemistry and is usually only open to year eight pupils.