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Robertswood School wins Buckinghamshire Big Science Event 2018

Wednesday 27th June 2018

Four ingenious primary school pupils from Year 3 at Robertswood School in Chalfont St Peter have been crowned winners of the Buckinghamshire Big Science Event 2018. The Big Science Event is a competition for primary school pupils that challenges them to create their own science experiment or investigation, and present their findings to a panel of judges. The experiment can be on any topic and previous entries have included ‘What makes snails move?’ 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.

Science Oxford set up the Big Science Event, which runs in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, back in 2010. Originally reaching out to just 17 schools, it has now grown to involve over 100 schools and a massive 13,000 pupils across the two counties. The competition is supported by Abbott Diabetes Care.

The final took place at the BigBang@Bucks schools science conference on Monday 25th June 2018. It saw ten school teams present their investigations to a group of judges that included Georgina Ferry (writer, broadcaster and trustee), Rebecca Philp from Science Oxford and Pete Blackman and Chris Leighfield from Abbott Diabetes Care.

The young scientists from Robertswood set themselves the following question to answer: Does the topping affect which way round toast lands? They spread slices of toast with marmalade, jam, butter and lemon curd and then dropped each one from a height of five metres multiple times and recorded which way up they landed.

And while the answer was that ‘No, topping does not affect the way toast lands’ the judges were very impressed by the group’s presentation and how diligently they had run their research.

Andy Kensley, education manager at Science Oxford, says, “We were so impressed by the high quality of all of the investigations that we saw and by the enthusiasm and scientific understanding shown by every team that took part. The judges had a very tough decision to make to choose just one winner, but Robertswood had everything we were looking for – a wonderful idea, great methodology and a lovely talk about what they had discovered. Well done to everyone involved.”

Two schools were highly commended for their scientific endeavours:

  • Year 4 at High March School, Beaconsfield, who asked ‘Which is the best biscuit to dunk?
  • Year 4 at St Edward’s Catholic Junior School, Aylesbury, who asked “Can the material used change how a parachute falls?

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