Nine UK schools selected for Rolls-Royce Science Prize

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Nine schools from across the UK have today been announced as finalists for the 2009 Rolls-Royce Science Prize. As a finalist, each school has been awarded £6,000 to implement a science teaching project, and could win a further £15,000 in this national competition.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize, now in its sixth year, rewards inspirational science teaching in our schools. Each year, the company awards finalists cash prizes to help teachers fund exciting science teaching projects in their schools or colleges. The innovative science projects will be rolled-out over the coming school year and judged in 2010.

Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, said: “Educating a new generation of young scientists is vital to the future of our country. The level of enthusiasm demonstrated by all the finalists has been outstanding. I look forward to watching the schools’ projects progress during the coming year.”

As finalists, each of the nine schools has already scooped £6,000 in prize money, which will be used to develop the project over the next school year. The finalists’ projects will be judged in October 2010, with the winner receiving £15,000 to spend on science teaching. The winning school will also spend a day with the Red Arrows display team.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is part of the company’s ongoing drive to promote science and engineering in schools by encouraging and rewarding inspirational science teaching. Each year, the company awards a total of £120,000 in cash prizes to schools that enter the competition through the Science Learning Centre network.

The national network of Science Learning Centres provide professional development for teachers of science at all levels. Any teachers that attend courses can enter their school into the Rolls-Royce Science Prize.

Professor John Holman, Director of the National Science Learning Centre, commented: “Inspired teachers can make a difference to countless lives. The National Science Learning Centre is proud to support the Rolls-Royce Science Prize, and I congratulate all who have taken part in the competition, especially the nine finalists.”

SchoolScience Project
Canon Slade School - BoltonStudents will monitor stories in the media to understand the motives of journalists and evaluate news items on their scientific merit.
Teesdale Secondary School – County DurhamStudents will research and develop a device to enrich the lives of zoo animals. They will work in collaboration with Chester Zoo, studying the behaviour of primates and developing a suitable device that will entertain and stimulate them.
Bramhill High School - StockportUp to 90 students will form a chemistry club, work with local industry and universities to discover how chemistry is used outside the classroom and then develop science learning at school.
Moulton School and Science College - NorthamptonshireStudents will learn how forensic science techniques are used in real life police investigations.
Bethlem & Maudsley Hospital School - LondonStudents will monitor elements of science and nature at four special locations in the school grounds. They will develop their scientific skills through the study of flora and fauna, minerals, weather patterns and animal behaviour.
Haywood Engineering College – Stoke-on-TrentStudents will design an eco-friendly house that will address issues of sustainability. The project will involve tests on scale models to assess the design in a range of adverse weather conditions.
Cwncarn Primary School - GwentYear 6 students will be trained as ‘Science Envoys’ to lead exciting science projects with younger pupils. They will also follow science stories in the news then design projects to explore these news items.
Kibworth Primary School - LeicestershireThe team will develop a network of teaching assistants to share information with neighbouring schools to improve science teaching and learning. The school will work to give science a higher profile by ensuring teaching assistants are engaged in science teaching at all levels.
Stepgates Community School - SurreyPupils will learn how science relates to everyday life through a range of experiments including a sensory learning area.

Fifty schools that submitted entries of a very high standard, but did not reach the finals, will each win £1,000.

  1. The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is open to all schools and colleges in the UK attending courses at one of the Science Learning Centres. Awards are presented to teams of adults, led by practising teachers, who can create inspiring and sustainable teaching proposals that address a specific need in their school or college. More details are available at
  2. The winning school receives a £15,000 prize and the runner-up wins £10,000. The other seven finalist schools are awarded £6,000 each to implement their projects during the academic year. Fifty schools that submit entries of a very high standard, but do not reach the finals, will win £1,000 each.
  3. The nine finalists were selected from a field of 1,500 schools and colleges that registered for the prize before June 2009.
  4. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  5. The Group has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries. It employs around 39,000 people worldwide people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in 50 countries and has businesses headquartered in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and China. This global presence allows the Group to access long-term international growth opportunities with its technology, presence, partnerships and people.
  6. In 2008, Rolls-Royce invested over £885 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions.
  7. The national network of Science Learning Centres delivers inspirational and innovative subject-specific continuing professional development to teachers, lecturers, technicians and teaching assistants throughout the United Kingdom.
  8. The National Science Learning Centre provides inspirational and innovative professional development for science teachers, technicians, lecturers and teaching assistants from across the UK. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the £11 million purpose built Centre, situated at the University of York, features the highest specification teaching laboratories, a Resource Centre which carries the country’s largest collection of science teaching and learning resources, multiple teaching rooms and a 300 seat auditorium.
  9. 2008 saw the launch of Project ENTHUSE, a new £30 million partnership between the private, public and charitable sectors providing generous bursaries for teachers to attend courses at the National Science Learning Centre. The Enthuse Awards pay for course fees, accommodation, travel, supply cover, and provide the teachers with money to spend in school on the implementation of their action plans, created whilst they are at the Centre. This has extended the centre’s reach allowing all teachers and lecturers access to affordable, subject-specific CPD.

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