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Inquisitive young minds impress judges at the Big Science Event 2023

Wednesday 12th July 2023

Science Oxford’s Big Science Event wrapped up the annual search for Oxfordshire’s and Buckinghamshire’s most engaging and experimental young scientists with the finals on 10th and 11th the Science Oxford Centre.

22 teams of inquisitive young scientists from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire primary schools gathered over the two days to impress judges with presentations of their investigations into interesting questions. “What music makes you work the quickest?”; “Do bigger hands clap louder?”; “Do ants prefer sweet or salty?”; “Does the percentage cocoa affect how long it takes chocolate to reach its melting point?”; “What stops an apple from going brown?” were among the questions that provoked pupils’ curiosity.

The winners are…

With the difficult decision of choosing a winner and two runners up each day, the judges selected Bladon C of E Primary School’s Years 4/5 team as the winners of the Oxfordshire final with their investigation into “What fruit liquid produces the darkest colour?” Lent Rise Primary School Year 5 team won the Buckinghamshire final with their investigation into “Do different materials affect the speed of a weight going down an inclining plane?”

Three children and one adult with their prizes and certificates from winning the competition
The Years 4/5 team from Bladon C of E Primary School win the Oxfordshire Big Science Event 2023
Three children posing with their poster explaining their experiment with friction
The Year 5 team from Lent Rise Primary School win the Buckinghamshire Big Science Event 2023

The runners up for Oxfordshire were the Year 6 team from West Oxford Community Primary and Year 1 team from St Michael’s C of E Primary. Buckinghamshire runners up were the Year 4 teams from Chalfont St Giles Junior and Burford Primary School. The judges also gave special commendation to Bongani Aaron Sibanda from John Henry Newman Academy and the team from The Disraeli School for their impressive presentations.

Sian Stratton, Education Outreach Manager at Science Oxford, says: “As always, 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. The standard has been very high so it has been difficult to select a winner this year. Watching the children get excited by science is wonderful and rewarding. We look forward to running this initiative for many years to come.”

Pupil-led, curiosity-driven scientific investigation

The Big Science Event, run annually by Science Oxford, challenges teams of children aged 5–11 to create their own science experiment or investigation on any topic and present their findings to a panel of judges from Science Oxford and representatives from partners Diamond Light Source, Abbott and RM Educational Resources. Through the competition, we aim for children to have fun with science while learning about the experimental process. This year, nearly 12,000 children from Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire primary schools took part.

The competition is supported by Diamond Light Source, Abbott and RM Educational Resources Ltd. This year’s winners received a personal microscope from RM Education Resources as well as tickets to attend a Science Oxford Family Day. Their schools’ receiving 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 science slime kit from Science Oxford and copies of Whizz Pop Bang magazine.


Adult Volunteer assisting two children with science experiment
A volunteer from Abbott guides BSE finalist through a sugar testing activity during the Big Science Event finals

Igniting passion and inspiring the next generation of scientists

Claire Bhogal, Research & Development 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.”

Congratulations to all the finalists

We congratulate all the teams who were selected to take part in the finals, after several months of in-school judging:

Bledlow Ridge; Burford; Chalfont St Giles Infants and Junior; Holmer Green Junior; Disraeli; Lent Rise; North Marston C of E, Robertswood and St Nicolas’ C of E Combined; Bladon, Cutteslowe Primary, Hanborough Manor C of E; Hornton Primary, John Henry Newman Academy, Kirtlington Co E Primary, The Manor Preparatory; St Andrew’s C of E Primary; St Michael’s C of E Primary; West Oxford Community Primary, Windmill Primary and Wychwood

Visit to find out more about the Big Science Event at School, visit our webpage.


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