Young Scientists Shine in Buckinghamshire

Some of Buckinghamshire’s most talented and inspiring young scientists have been celebrated at a special evening we held recently in partnership with the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust.

As with our Oxfordshire version of the Young Scientists of the Year event, Bucks secondary school teachers had the chance to nominate exceptional students in biology, chemistry, physics or psychology.

Nominations are based not just on excellent results but also on students’ positive approach to the subject; their enthusiasm, dedication and progress. The Young Scientist celebration, which forms part of our secondary school World of Work programme, is a great opportunity for Science Oxford to encourage talented young people from all backgrounds to pursue science as a career.

Forty-five students from fourteen participating schools came along with their families and teachers to receive special certificates marking their achievement, and to listen to some amazing talks from our fantastic keynote speakers.

Rob Shalloo, scientist and winner of Oxford’s FameLab science communication competition in 2015, talked about what it’s like to work as a researcher. He told the students that although he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he was younger, he pursued what interested him the most – and now works in a ground-breaking Physics team at the University of Oxford. Rob’s focus is on studying space and he described his team’s work to create a star supernova in the lab with Laser Plasma Accelerators, which take the energy of the sun and concentrate it on a spot the width of a human hair, and smash apart atoms and create plasma. Fascinating stuff.

Our second speaker, Dave Oxley didn’t pursue further education, but by following what interested him and making the most of job opportunities he is now Quality & Security Champion for internet security company McAfee. His claimed his ‘talent for breaking things‘ led to his job testing engineering software!

Our 115 guests enjoyed the opportunity to meet other aspiring young scientists over a glass of fizz (prosecco and lemonade) and canapés, and students were presented with their certificates to rapturous applause.

Many thanks to everyone who attended and to those who sponsored the event: The Microbiology Society, the Institute of Physics London & South East branch and CREST Awards.

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