TEACHERS normally warn kids away from sugary treats but staff at Gunnersbury Catholic School were delighted when their pupils combined sweets and fizzy drinks to win £2,000 of science equipment.

Pupils at the Brentford school scooped the top prize in a nationwide competition with their video clip of a fizzy drink fountain display.

Theirs was one of hundreds of entries demonstrating the explosive effect of dropping Mentos mints into a bottle of diet cola.

Senior physics teacher Sharon McGroarty said: "The basic idea is simple. But the kids from our year 12 science club wanted to come up with something a bit more ambitious. They drilled holes in 40

bottles of cola and nearly 200 mints then linked them all with string to create a choreographed fountain effect. It took a lot of patience to get it just right."

The complete fountain was created and set off by 10 Gunnersbury pupils back in December and they have just learnt that their efforts scooped them the top prize.

"There is some educational merit for the kids in understanding the reaction which causes the explosion," said Ms McGroarty.

"But it was also just a lot of fun for them running around and getting covered in cola. Either way I did think their entry was clearly the best and I'm very pleased for them."

To view the Gunnersbury pupils, display and the competition runners up visit www.mentos.co.uk/fountaincompetition