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Young scientists shine at Big Science Event summer finals

Tuesday 12th July 2022

The sun shone for the finals of our Big Science Event 2022 this week. Held at the Science Oxford Centre in Headington on 11th & 12th July, children from 24 primary schools across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire were competing in this year’s grand final – a competition to find the county’s most engaging and experimental young scientists.

The winning Yr 4 team from Windmill Primary School in Headington wowed judges with their exciting investigation on ‘What happens to lip balm in different temperatures’.

Oxfordshire winners

A Year 1 group from St Nicolas Church of England Combined School, Taplow, Maidenhead won the day with their experiment ‘What lives in, or on, or near a tree?’

Buckinghamshire winners

More than 11,000 children registered to take part and run experiments in their schools  over the 6 month-long competition from all over Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. After several months of in-school judging, nearly 40 children from primary schools across Oxfordshire were shortlisted to take part in the final. The finalists and their entries were from city and county schools, including Barley Hill School in Thame, Witney Primary, St Andrew’s Church of England and Barton Park Primary, and their investigation questions covered topics such as “Are there any hidden colours in felt tip pens?” “Which gummy bear loses the most taste in boiling water?” and, importantly, “Which biscuit is the strongest?”

The Big Science Event, run annually 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 judges. The experiment can be on any topic and previous entries have included “How long does it take for spaghetti to go wiggly?”, “Which are faster, big or small snails?” and “How much air does it take to pop a banana?” The aim of the competition is for children to have fun with science while learning about the experimental process.

The competition is run in association with Diamond Light Source, Abbott and Playforce, who offer the main prize to the winning schools – £250-worth of playground equipment from Playforce. The runner up prizes include an Easiscope magnifier from RM Educational Resources Ltd (or TTS) for all the teams, science kits and Family Day tickets to the Science Oxford Centre in Headington.

Sian Stratton, Education Outreach Manager at Science Oxford, said:

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 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.

The Big Science Event 2023 is open for entries later this year, watch this space!

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