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Celebrating students in STEM at Young Scientists of the Year 2023 awards

Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Each year, we bring together outstanding Year 13 students, their parents and teachers at a prestigious evening event to recognise and celebrate achievements of students nominated for our Young Scientists of the Year awards.

On 16th of November this year, Science Oxford Centre’s theatre swelled to its full capacity, as 72 students from 30 schools around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire were awarded for their accomplishments in STEM subjects – physics, biology, chemistry, applied science, psychology, health and social care sciences.

Passion and determination

For the Young Scientists of the Year awards, students are nominated by their schools for their efforts and successes in STEM subjects. What makes a student stand out for their achievements varies, but passion and determination, which manifest in numerous ways, are commonly highlighted by their teachers.

Students may have excelled in a subject, demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm for their chosen science, or shown creativity in their pursuit of knowledge. They may also be recognised for their progress over the year. Or they may stand out for having gone above and beyond expectations, such as through mentoring and inspiring other students.

Commendations from teachers included:

“One of her most commendable traits is her unwavering effort, especially when faced with difficult concepts or challenges…Time and again, she has demonstrated an inspiring commitment to securing her grasp on challenging subject matter.”

“His commitment to the field is truly awe-inspiring. While most students may see physics as a complex puzzle, he sees it as a playground for discovery. He tackles the most intricate problems with an unwavering resolve that seems to defy the laws of thermodynamics – his energy never seems to dissipate.”

“She is incredibly passionate about extra-curricular activities related to the sciences, always volunteering to help or be involved with new projects, and has an infectious enthusiasm.”

Support from partners

The evening’s celebrations were enriched by the support from partners Oxford PV, Habitat Energy, GE Healthcare and Hoare Lea. Guest speakers offered valuable career advice and inspiration for young people about to embark on a STEM career. Students were encouraged to follow their interests, enjoy the surprising turns a STEM career can often take and the opportunities that open up.

Madelaine Swift, Science Oxford’s STEM Projects Officer, says, “The Young Scientists of the Year celebrations wouldn’t be what they are without the contributions from partner businesses, providing inspiring speakers for the event and contributing to the evening’s refreshments. Their participation is invaluable to making the evening a memorable celebration of students’ outstanding achievements in science!”

The timeless wonder of science

While students have amassed impressive achievements in their school journey, the wonder of science evoked by Science Oxford’s Exploration Zone exhibits designed for primary school children can still be enjoyed by older students and their parents too. The time spent in the Exploration Zone ahead of the formal proceedings was a decorated with laughter and chatter, as they embraced the interactive activities of each exhibit.

  • Photo of building lit at night, taken through the arch of an ohm statue
    Welcome Young Scientists of the Year to the Science Oxford Centre

Science Oxford’s STEM Careers programme

Our STEM Careers programme aims to encourage secondary school students to make positive choices about careers in STEM, through inspirational and practical STEM experiences and events. In addition to the Young Scientists of the Year awards, we run in-school STEM Career Days, STEM Skills Workshops, week-long STEM Insight Weeks over half-terms and two-week-long STEM Summer Experiences over the summer holidays. Find out more about our STEM Careers programme here.

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