From developing an outdoor education hive and an eco-friendly hanging garden to robotics and virtual reality, an incredible range of science-related projects have been recognised and rewarded through the Rolls-Royce science prize, claiming thousands of pounds in prizes.
And you could join them as entries open for the now-renamed Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology, an annual awards programme that helps teachers increase science, mathematics, and technology engagement in their schools and colleges.
Primary and secondary schools and colleges are invited to submit applications with ideas for a sustainable science, mathematics or technology initiative, specific to your school to be delivered between September 2020 and June 2021. The idea can be new or already in practice, but it must be innovative!
The awards programme is open to all schools and colleges in the UK.
Education hives and a journey to Mars
Among the previous successful entries are:
- A primary school developing an outdoor education hive that saw pupils looking at issues around pollution and the impact humans are having on the global ecosystem
- A secondary school using virtual reality to simulate real-life decision-making
- A primary school creating an eco-friendly hanging garden and school extension from eco-bricks
- A primary school setting up science stations to improve investigation skills
- A primary school setting up and maintaining an ambitious Makerspace to encourage experimentation
- A STEM Club project including science, engineering and horticulture under the theme of ‘Journey to Mars’
Creating science capital
While the projects and initiatives are many and varied, the motivation expressed by the previous successful schools and colleges have some common themes.
Many spoke about creating ‘science capital’ for pupils and students; that is demonstrating the relevance of science and science-related careers.
This was particularly important for schools in areas of high deprivation, where teachers aimed to increase science capital in order to help “remove the poverty of ambition” and to convince pupils that these subjects and potential careers are “for people like them”.
Some entrants wanted to change the culture in the school from “teaching science to pupils” towards “encouraging pupils to be scientists, and to engage in scientific discovery”, while others spoke about their aim to raise ambition across the school, but particularly for girls, bearing in mind the need to encourage more women to pursue STEM careers.
Find out more
You can find out full details of the Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology, the prizes on offer and how to enter by visiting stem.org.uk/rolls-royce-schools-prize-science-technology. The deadline for entries is 11 April 2020.
STEM Learning have a selection of blogs from previous winners at stem.org.uk
You can find out more about previous finalists.