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Congratulations to the winners of the Big Science Event finals 2024!

Wednesday 10th July 2024

One of Science Oxford’s highlights of the year, the Big Science Event, reached peak excitement on 8th and 9th July when primary schools from across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire gathered for the grand finals at the Science Oxford Centre.

And the winners are…

Congratulations to the winning teams! The Year 4 team from Windmill Primary School took the top spot in the Oxfordshire schools’ final with their investigation on “Which food do animals like the best at Windmill School?” (feature image above). The Year 4 team from St Nicolas’ Church of England Combined School were awarded as winners of the Buckinghamshire final, with their investigation on “What foods are insulators and which are conductors?” (photo below).

group of 7 children holding cardboard poster in front of building with signage of Science Oxford Centre
Year 4s from St. Nicholas' CofE Combined School were the winners of the Big Science Event 2024 finals for Buckinghamshire schools

Runners up were the Year 1 team from St. Michael’s Primary School, the Year 6 team from Eynsham Primary School, the Year 2 team from Robertswood School and the Year 6 team from Burford School.

Impressing the judges

Judges were impressed with all the teams participating, with their thoughtful experimental designs, the way problems were addressed and results were interpreted, how pupils could see the context to real world problems, their ideas for future experiments and the teamwork – all important for our scientists of the future!

What is the Big Science Event?

The Big Science Event runs annually and challenges teams of children aged 5–11 to create their own science experiment or investigation and present their findings to a panel of judges from Science Oxford and representatives from Diamond Light Source and Abbott.

The experiment can be on any topic and previous entries have included “How long does it take for spaghetti to go wiggly?”, “Which are faster, big or small snails?” and “How much air does it take to pop a banana?” The aim of the competition is for children to have fun with science while learning about the experimental process.

This year, 12,000 primary school children from 77 primary schools across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire registered for the Big Science Event and competed to get to this year’s grand final.

After several months of in-school judging, 12 teams each from Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire were shortlisted to take part in the finals on 8th and 9th July. The finalists’ investigation questions covered topics such as “Which wrapping will keep jam sandwiches fresher for longer?” “Which brand of toilet paper is the best?” and, importantly, “Do people answer questions better before or after exercise?”

Thank you for the support

The competition is supported by Diamond Light Source, Abbott and RM Educational Resources Ltd. This year’s winners received a personal microscope from RM Educational Resources as well as tickets to attend a Science Oxford Family Day. Their school received an Easi-scope from RM plus a free visit to the Science Oxford Centre or in-school activities. Every child competing took home a goodie bag from Abbott, a Power Lab science kit from Science Oxford and copies of Whizz Pop Bang magazine.

Sophie Batin, Education Outreach Manager at Science Oxford, says:

We’ve been extremely impressed by the talented young scientists taking part in the Big Science Event in school. The children have so much fun creating their experiments and the judging panel loves to listen to their presentations. As always, the standard has been extremely high so it has been difficult to select a winner. Watching the children get excited by science is wonderful and rewarding.

Claire Bhogal, Research & Development Senior Director from Abbott’s Diabetes Care facility in Witney says:

Abbott is a long-term supporter of Science Oxford and the Big Science Event for schools – it is a truly inspiring event and we are very proud to be involved. We enjoy seeing the wide variety of ideas that the children come up with and how they take charge of their own investigations. We believe that the curious minds of today will lead to the innovation for tomorrow’s breakthroughs.

Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, Head of the Communications, Engagement and Impact team at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron comments:

We are very pleased to once again be involved in the Big Science Event, as it continues to inspire the next generation of scientists. Allowing the students to lead their own investigations really empowers them from a young age and fosters a curiosity the students will develop beyond the competition as their scientific learning journey continues. The range and ingenuity of the young students in this competition is staggering and the fact that they are all clearly fascinated by science is wonderful.

Jo Hardy, Director of Innovation, RM Educational Resources says:

We’re delighted to continue our support of Science Oxford and their Big Science Event. As an organisation, our mission is to provide the tools to ignite children’s passion for learning and discovery, and events like this are a fantastic opportunity to encourage children to explore the world around them.

Would you like to enter your school next year? Click the button below to find out more about the Big Science Event and watch some short films.

Find out more


Feature image: Year 4s from Windmill Primary School, winners of the Big Science Event 2024 Oxfordshire finals

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