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IF you can dream – Science & Ideas Festival launches schools poetry competition

Wednesday 14th March 2018

Science Oxford is proud to be supporting this year’s IF Oxford festival  – formerly known as the Oxfordshire Science Festival – and the IF Oxfordshire schools poetry competition especially. The competition, which is now in its second year, invites young people aged 5-16 to submit a poem on any science theme.

The poem can be in any poetry style you like – a limerick, haiku, acrostic poem, rap or perhaps even a sonnet. It doesn’t have to rhyme, but your poem need to be under 150 words and about science. It could be about a scientific idea or discovery; a science lesson or experiment; a scientific issue that is important to you; a famous scientist, or just why you love science!

The competition is open to any child at primary or secondary school, or home-schooled in Oxfordshire, and will be judged in three age categories:

  • School Year 2 and below (i.e. Key stage 1)
  • School Years 3 – 6 (i.e. Key Stage 2)
  • School Years 7 – 11 (i.e. Key Stages 3 and 4)

There are loads of prizes on offer. The winning entrant in each age category will receive a copy of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, donated by publisher, Hamish Hamilton.  The classes of the winners of the two primary school categories will win a half-day science show or workshop delivered by our amazing education outreach team.

The class of the winner of the secondary age category will win a tour of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Didcot.

The winners and runners-up in all three age categories will have the chance to perform their poem at a special event at the new IF Science and Ideas Festival over the weekend of 13/14 October 2018. Winning poems will be published online and in a printed anthology.

In 2017, over 400 poems were entered for the competition from schools across the county and the nine winning entries were published in an anthology called Poetry of Science.

The closing date for entries is Friday 20 April 2018. To find out more information visit

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