Nine UK schools selected for Rolls-Royce Science Prize

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Nine schools from across the UK have been announced as finalists for the 2010 Rolls-Royce Science Prize. Each school has been awarded £6,000 to implement a science teaching project during the next school year.  These finalists will now compete to win a further £15,000 to support their initiative. The winning school will also spend a day with the Red Arrows display team.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize, now in its seventh year, rewards inspirational science teaching in our schools. Each year the company awards finalists cash prizes to help teachers fund exciting and innovative science teaching projects in their schools or colleges.

Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce, Chief Executive, said: “The Rolls-Royce Science Prize recognises excellence in science teaching and I would like to congratulate all those who took part on the high quality of this year’s entries. Sparking the enthusiasm of the next generation of scientists is important to the UK’s future as an innovative and prosperous nation and I look forward to seeing the schools’ progress during the coming year.”

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is part of the Group’s drive to promote science and engineering in schools by encouraging and rewarding the very best 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 provides professional development for teachers of science at all levels. All teachers that attend courses can enter their school into the Rolls-Royce Science Prize.

Professor Sir John Holman, Director of the National Science Learning Centre, commented: “School science is the gateway to many promising careers, and great science teaching is the key to inspiring young people towards science. It is more important than ever to reward and encourage science teachers and the National Science Learning Centre congratulates all who have taken part in the competition, especially the nine finalists.”

Details of the nine finalist schools and their projects are as follows:

SchoolScience Project
Exeter Road Community Primary School - DevonThe team will work with pupils to design and build a greenhouse made from re-used materials such as plastic bottles and bubble wrap. The resource will then be used by the school to teach the science of plants and nutrition.
Mill Strand Integrated Primary School - County Antrim Develop a series of videos starring pupils that will be used on the North East Education and Library Board’s science truck around the UK. The videos will centre on environmental issues.
Staunton-on-Wye Endowed Primary School - HerefordThe team will work with pupils to design and build a play hut. Pupils will gather information about different materials and their properties as well as construction techniques.
Hove Park School and Sixth Form Centre - East SussexThe team will teach chemistry by using examples of the chemistry of the solar system. The team will put together a suite of demonstrations linked to each of the planets to help inspire pupils in lessons.
Mulberry School for Girls – LondonThe team is working with a local contractor to build a hydroponic greenhouse powered by renewable energy sources to grow plants. This greenhouse will allow pupils to conduct experiments to help maximise the growth of plants and learn more about sustainability issues.
South Camden Community School - LondonThe team will develop a system of learning that helps pupils utilise skills and knowledge gained in one subject area across the curriculum. This will be achieved through two projects to build radio-controlled cars and create smoothies. Each will focus on different areas of the curriculum.
Swallow Hill Community College - LeedsThe team will develop catch up and intervention sessions that students will access through podcasts. This will help to motivate pupils and use the communication routes pupils are most happy using.
Richard Huish College - SomersetThe team will give students a better understanding of industry by working with a local employer to develop a series of activities including practical activities, CV writing skills, a better understanding of scientific research etc.
Bay House School - HampshireStudents will be given the opportunity to develop new research skills through action research projects. These projects will include a toolkit to allow students to create experimental stimuli with video cameras.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 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.
  3. In 2009, Rolls-Royce invested over £864 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.
  4. 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 www.rolls-royce.com/scienceprize
  5. 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.
  6. The nine finalists were selected from a field of over1,500 schools and colleges that registered for the prize before June 2010.
  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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