OXFORD siblings won the top prize in a science competition with their pet guinea pigs.

Leah and Harry Gould, aged nine and 10, won gold in Science Oxford’s Big Science Event at Home contest.

The science event challenged teams of children to create their own science experiment or investigation.

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With help from their guinea pigs Snowy and Toffee, Leah and Harry investigated the question “Which maze will the guinea pigs complete the fastest: sight, memory or smell?”.

They will get £500 worth of playground equipment for their school, St Andrew’s Primary in Headington, and a subscription to The Curiosity Box which provides experiments for children.

Oxford Mail:

File photo of youngsters having fun with a Curiosity Box.

With so many children at home in lockdown this summer the science competition was popular.

Children came up with a question they really wanted to find the answer to, designed and carried out their investigation and shared what they discovered.

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The aim of the event was to celebrate curiosity and creativity and encourage young people to have fun with science.

There were 160 entries from over 360 children and more than 10 schools. Investigation questions ranged from “How long does it take for spaghetti to become wiggly?” and “Where’s the best place for insects and spiders to live?” to “Which room does our dog Rosie like the best?”

Oxford Mail:

File photo of children experimenting at a Science Oxford event. Picture: Richard Cave

Entries were mainly submitted from teams in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, but a few entries came from as far afield as Edinburgh and Essex.

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The experiments were presented to a panel of judges including Eynsham entrepreneur Renee Watson from The Curiosity Box; Sarah Bearchell from Sarah’s Adventures in Science; and Claire Bhogal and Peter Blackman, directors of Abbott – who selected this year’s winners.

Science Oxford highlighted the fact that lockdown had severely impacted children’s access to experiential learning by taking them out of the classroom and removing access to clubs and activities.

Bridget Holligan, director of education and engagement at Science Oxford said: “Science Oxford is passionate about encouraging children in STEM. We hope that the Big Science Event at home has given children the opportunity to learn about scientific enquiry and see science as something creative and fun.”