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Primary Science Challenge at Queen Mary's College
THE appliance of science was much in evidence as pupils from 15 schools took part in the final of a primary challenge.
The youngsters visited Queen Mary College’s (QMC) Science Centre where they demonstrated experiments they had designed themselves at the Basingstoke Primary Science Challenge 2012.
Organised by charity Basingstoke Consortium, the competition, which is in its third year, was the culmination of a term-long project to raise the profile of science and enterprise in the classroom.
Volunteers from local businesses, colleges and universities worked with the children to show them science in action, with activities including investigating woodlice habitats, experiments looking at the amount of oxygen in the air and how spacemen cope with the lack of air in space.
Following these demonstrations from organisations including the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and Southampton University, the pupils were invited to develop their own experiments showing a scientific idea or solving a scientific problem.
As well as thinking about which materials to use, the children also had to come up with a name, the cost and produce a step-by-step guide.
Schools then chose a winning team to take part in the final at QMC, where judges named Overton Primary School as the overall winner. Second place went to Sherborne St John Primary School, Silchester Primary School took third place, and South View Junior School came fourth.
Sue Riley, chief executive of Basingstoke Consortium, said: “This event is now a firm date in the primary school calendar – bringing science into the classroom and helping young people to see the practical value of the subjects they study.”
Philippa Kent, chairman of AWE’s school’s liaison committee, added: “AWE is very committed to working with local schools to encourage interest in science, engineering and technology.”