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Winners of the Big Science Event at Home announced!

Monday 20th July 2020


Our panel of science-friendly judges have now selected the winners of Science Oxford’s first Big Science Event at Home competition. We’d like to give a big virtual applaud to our winners brother and sister Leah and Harry Gould (ages 9 and 10) and their guinea pigs, Snowy and Toffee, who investigated “Which maze will the guinea pigs complete the fastest: sight, memory or smell?”. They will receive £500-worth of Playforce playground equipment for their school – St Andrew’s Primary School in Headington – and a subscription to The Curiosity Box.
By the way, the answer is smell!

Runners up were Rowan & Lucy Baker (ages 7 and 10, Oxford, below left) for their ice-cool Corona science experiment; Ewan McGuffin (age 8, Oxfordshire, below right) for finding out “How strong is bamboo?”; Joey & Ollie Harrison (ages 6 and 7, Buckinghamshire) who ran an investigation “To help Flamie, the baking dragon, discover which chocolate melts the slowest?” and Trinity Beesley (age 8, Kent) for testing paper strength (see her video here).




The judges also awarded a special prize for the best investigation from a school. This went to Bubble 6A from Brookmead School (Leighton Buzzard) who looked at “How far can you drop a vinegar-soaked egg for it to bounce?”

With many children in lockdown this summer, Science Oxford’s Big Science Event at Home challenged teams of children to create their own science experiment or investigation. Children came up with a question they really wanted to find the answer to, designed and carried out their investigation and shared what they discovered with us. The investigation could be on any topic and the competition was open to all ages. Children could work on their own, with their family, with a group at school or even with a friend on Zoom. Results could be presented in any format – films, reports, photo diaries. The aim of the event was to celebrate curiosity and creativity and encourage young people to have fun with science.

We had 160 entries from over 360 children and investigation questions ranged from “How long does it take for spaghetti to become wiggly?” and “Where’s the best place for insects and spiders to live?” to “Which room does our dog Rosie like the best?” Entries were mainly submitted from teams in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire but a few entries came from as far afield as Edinburgh and Essex.

Investigations were presented to our panel of friendly, science-loving judges – including Renee Watson from The Curiosity Box; Sarah Bearchell from Sarah’s Adventures in Science; and Claire Bhogal and Peter Blackman, directors of Abbott – who selected this year’s winners.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters, there are lots of lovely prizes to give away. The winner Leah and Henry Gould will receive £500 of Playforce playground equipment for their school – St Andrew’s Primary – and a subscription to The Curiosity Box. The four runners up will also win a subscription to The Curiosity Box and tickets to our Science Oxford Centre. The winning school entry can book a free outreach session with Science Oxford and each child will receive a family ticket to the Science Oxford Centre. We also had some specially-commended entries, who will be sent Curiosity Box subscriptions.

Science Oxford’s successful Big Science Event has been running in schools across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire since 2009. Thanks to funding from the Evolution Education Trust, this is the first time that we’ve run the Big Science Event at home.

Lockdown has severely impacted children’s access to experiential learning by taking them out of the classroom and removing access to clubs and activities. Parents have taken a larger role in how their children learn and supporting and extending what teachers are providing on-line. The Big Science Event at Home has been a great way to get lots of young people excited by science and to explore the world around them.

The competition was generously funded by the Evolution Education Trust, sponsored by Abbott, Playforce, and Diamond Light Source, and supported by The Curiosity Box.

Congratulations to all our Big Science Event at home winners!

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