Rolls-Royce Science Prize celebrates outstanding science teaching

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has announced the winners of the 2011 Rolls-Royce Science Prize, which celebrates and rewards excellence in science teaching. Now in its eighth year, the science prize showcases inspirational projects across the country.

At an awards ceremony held last night at London’s Science Museum, Staunton-on-Wye Endowed Primary School, Hereford and Mulberry School for Girls, London, beat off competition from 2,000 UK schools to be declared this year’s joint winners. They were each handed £15,000 in prize money to advance science teaching in their schools, along with the chance to spend the day with the Red Arrows display team.

Presenting the awards, John Rishton, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, said: “In the future, all of our lives will critically depend on the engineers, scientists and mathematicians who will discover how to produce enough low carbon energy to power the world, build planes that travel non-stop to the furthest corners of the world, using less fuel and travelling more quietly than any aircraft today.

“It is hard to think of a profession more important than teaching. The Rolls-Royce science prize was set up to recognise inspirational science teaching and reward outstanding teachers. I am extremely proud to award this year’s prize to two schools whose projects demonstrate that science teaching can be innovative, creative and fun. Both schools set a fantastic example and I congratulate them both.”

Pupils at Staunton-on-Wye Primary School researched the environmental and social impacts of various building materials, which were then used to construct a play house in the school grounds. Science Co-ordinator, Karen Williams, said: “Our whole school has been immersed in exciting, practical science activities related to our Rolls-Royce project and our children have learned how to apply their knowledge and skills in the best way possible. We are all very proud of the house we have built and of the children’s commitment to using science responsibly.”

Mulberry School for Girls used a hydroponic greenhouse, powered by renewable energy to conduct experiments and learn about sustainable energy and food production. Director of STEM Learning, Deborah Colvin, said: “It’s a great honour to accept this award on behalf of everyone at the school, whose hard work and dedication to science made the project possible. We shall invest the prize money wisely within the science department.”

Established in 2004, the Rolls-Royce Science Prize is part of the company’s commitment to promote science and engineering in schools by rewarding inspirational teaching. Since this time, over £800,000 in prize money has been distributed to 300 schools across the UK. In addition,  Rolls-Royce has contributed £1million to Project ENTHUSE, a partnership between business and Government dedicated to training and inspiring STEM subject teachers.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.
  3. Annual underlying revenues were £10.8 billion in 2010, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £61.4 billion at 30 June 2011, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs over 39,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2010, Rolls-Royce invested £923 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. The nine finalists emerged from a field of 2,000 schools and colleges that registered for the prize before June 2010. The nine finalist schools are awarded £6,000 each to implement their projects during the academic year. The winning school will receive £15,000 prize and the runner-up wins £10,000.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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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