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Wolvercote Primary School wins Big Science Event 2017

Thursday 6th July 2017

Four super-scientist pupils from Wolvercote Primary School in Oxford have been crowned winners of the Oxfordshire Big Science Event 2017. The pupils, who are in Year 6 at the school, carried out an experiment called Do People Understand Probability? and presented their findings at the BSE Oxfordshire final, which was held at Abbotts Diabetes Care in Witney on Thursday 6th July.

The Big Science Event (BSE 2017) is a countywide competition for primary school pupils, which asks them to create their own science experiment or investigation, and present their findings to a panel of judges. The experiment can be on anything and entries this year included ‘Do younger children have more taste buds than older children’ and’ ‘Stressy SATs – does music help you relax?’

The main aim of the competition, which is run by Science Oxford, is for the children to have fun with science while learning about the experimental process at the same time.

Wolvercote Primary School wins £1,000 worth of brand new science-themed Playforce playground equipment for its school. The winning team was Nick Lang, Jacob Thornhill and Holly De-Lance Holmes.

Holly said of winning the competition: “It’s amazing – it feels kind of special because we’ve won for the whole school.

Nick Lang said: “I just can’t quite believe it – it’s like a dream. I’m definitely going to do more science after this.

After several months of in-school judging, 12 teams of children aged from 6-11 years were shortlisted to take part in the final and prize-giving day. Each team gave presentations about the experiments they’d been doing to the BSE 2017 judges, answered questions and displayed hand-made posters illustrating their findings. The initiative has grown from 17 schools and 2000 children participating in 2010 to 44 schools and over 6,000 children in 2017.

Judge Steve Burgess said: “Choosing a winner was extremely difficult as all the schools did great presentations. What we loved about the Wolvercote pupils was their enthusiasm, knowledge and excellent presentation skills – they talked clearly about their probability experiment and the discoveries they made.

Cathy Sturrock, Head of Education at Science Oxford, says: “We’ve been extremely impressed by the talented young school scientists taking part in this year’s Big Science Event. The quality of presentations has been better than ever and it was very difficult to choose a winner. Watching the children getting excited about science, their experiments and findings and thinking like scientists is so rewarding and we look forward to supporting this initiative for many more years to come.”

Finalists in The Big Science Event 2017 were:

Longworth Primary School                                           Wychwood Primary School

St Barnabus Primary School                                         Kings Meadow Primary School

St Andrews Primary School                                           Stadhampton Primary School

St Michaels Primary School                                          John Hampden Primary School

Hanborough Manor Primary school                         Wolvercote Primary School

Eynsham Primary School                                              Madley Brook Primary School

About The Big Science Event

The Big Science Event is a competition for primary schools, coordinated by Science Oxford. It was set up in 2009 to encourage more schools to give pupils an opportunity to design and carry out their own creative science investigations. In 2013, the competition attracted entries from 5000 students from 49 primary schools across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire. Science Oxford is an independent charitable trust that was set up ‘to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise’. It has been working with local schools for nearly 25 years and each year involves nearly 20,000 local school pupils with its educational programmes.

About Playforce

Playforce is the UK’s leader in the design of innovative, curriculum-linked outdoor play environments for nurseries and primary schools. That means everything from timber trails to outdoor classrooms, musical play to science investigations. We are passionate about getting every child active and making the best use of the School Sport Funding, as well as using the outdoors to engage children in curriculum subjects such as maths and science.

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