Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, today announces that Kells Lane Primary School, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear has won the 2009 Rolls-Royce Science Prize. The winning project involved the construction of a small-scale wind tunnel for children to safely test and evaluate different blade configurations for wind turbines. The school has been awarded £15,000 to further advance science teaching for its students. The winning school will also spend a day with the Red Arrows display team.
The Rolls-Royce Science Prize, now in its sixth year, rewards inspirational science teaching in schools in the UK and Ireland. Kells Lane Primary School was chosen from nine finalists who each received £5,000 last year to implement their science projects in the classroom.
As part of the winning project, pupils aged nine and ten were able to quickly develop wind turbines and test their efficiency by recording electrical output at different wind speeds. Skills from creative thinking to problem solving were demonstrated in finding efficient turbine designs.
Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Sir John Rose presented the school with a trophy and a cheque: “I would like to congratulate all the finalists for their commitment to the teaching of science. Inspiring a new generation of young scientists is vital if we are to compete successfully as a country. I am particularly pleased that Kells Lane Primary School has demonstrated clearly with its winning project that science can help deliver practical solutions to real world problems.”
Kells Lane Primary School Teacher Simon Smith added: “Taking part in the Rolls-Royce Science Prize has inspired teachers and pupils alike. Winning the award means we can build on our achievements by encouraging children’s interest in science and science-based careers. We are already sharing our experiences with other schools in Gateshead.”
Runners up were the Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge who were awarded £10,000 to further science teaching in the school. Pupils planted a chronological bed with plants of scientific and historical significance and a bed with plants used to make art. This culminated in an exhibition of work and experiments by 350 students.
Each year, the company awards a total of £120,000 in cash prizes to schools. Fifty schools that submitted entries of a high standard, but did not reach the finals, will each win £1,000.