SchoolsPrimary SchoolsSpecial EventBlogsScience Oxford Centre

Primary schools to battle it out to win science competition

Wednesday 26th June 2019

Primary school children from 12 primary schools across Oxfordshire will be competing in the grand final of the 2019 Big Science Event next week – a competition to find the county’s most engaging and experimental young scientists.

The Big Science Event, which is run by Science Oxford, challenges teams of children aged 5-11 to create their own science experiment or investigation, and present their findings to a panel of (friendly) judges. The experiment can be on any topic and previous entries have included ‘What motivates snails?’ and ‘How much air does it take to pop a banana?’  The main aim of the competition is for the children to have fun with science while learning about the experimental process at the same time.

The final, which will take place at the Science Oxford Centre in Headington on 4th July 2019, is run in association with Diamond Light Source and supported by Abbott Diabetes Care and Playforce.

After several months of in-school judging, over forty children from schools as far afield as Chesterton, Wantage and Chipping Norton have been shortlisted to take part in the Grand Final and prize-giving day. The teams will give presentations about the experiments they’ve been doing, answer questions from a panel of judges and display hand-made posters illustrating their findings. The initiative hasgrown from 17 schools and 2000 children participating in 2010 to 80+ schools in 2019.

The finalists and their entries are:

Chesterton CE Primary School Does the size of a balloon affect the length of time it takes to pop over a candle?
John Hampden Primary School Which is the best material to block radio waves?
Ladygrove Park Primary School What material will make a bucket with holes in it not leak?
Pegasus Primary How can you protect an egg?
St Amand’s What battery product is most efficient?
St Michael’s CE Aided Primary Does temperature affect how much microfibre comes out of fleece material?
St Mary’s Chipping Norton Which chocolate melts the quickest?
Stadhampton Primary School Does slime and bubble gum dissolve in hot water with sugar or salt?
Wantage CE Primary Which type of chocolate melts the quickest?
Leafield Primary School What sound makes you sleepiest?
Wychwood CE Primary School Which liquid solidifies the quickest?
Madley Brook Primary School Which ice cubes melt the quickest?


“Professor Andrew Harrison, CEO of Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron comments; “We are really pleased to be involved in the Big Science Event as it is clearly helping to inspire our next generation of scientists.  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. We think it is of vital importance to encourage young students and not just the older ones and to help them discover the huge range of possibilities that are open to them with a STEM career.”

Andy Kensley, Head of Education at Science Oxford, says: “As always. we’ve been extremely impressed by the talented young school scientists taking part in the Big Science Event. The children have so much fun creating their experiments and we love to listen to their presentations. The standard this year has been better than ever and it will be difficult to choose a winner. Watching the children getting excited about science is wonderful and so rewarding and we look forward to supporting this initiative for many more years to come.”

Emily Northin from Playforce said, “This year will be the 8thyear running in which Playforce has supported the Big Science Event and we are thrilled to be part of the competition again in 2019 and to provide a prize of playground equipment for the winning school. At Playforce we are passionate about providing ways for pupils to explore and learn about the world around them in a fun and practical way, and the Big Science Event does exactly this.”


Share this News