NEARLY 40 children at primary schools in Oxfordshire took part in a competition to create their own science experiment.

This year’s Big Science Event challenged children aged five to 11 to create an experiment or investigation and present their findings to a panel of judges.

The aim of the competition, which was run by charity Science Oxford, was for children to have fun with science while learning about the experimental process.

The investigation could be on any scientific topic and previous entries have included experiments on how long it takes for spaghetti to go wiggly and how much air it takes to pop a banana.  

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A team from Year 4 at Windmill primary school in Headington won the contest with their investigation on what happens to lip balm in different temperatures. The school will receive playground equipment from provider Playforce as the main prize.

The finals were held at the Science Oxford Centre in Headington, where children from 12 primary schools across the county were competing.

The finalists included pupils from Barley Hill School in Thame, Witney Primary, St Andrew’s Church of England and Barton Park Primary and their entries included experiments on hidden colours in felt tip pens, which gummy bear loses the most taste in boiling water and which biscuit is the strongest.

The runner ups received a portable microscope for all the teams, science kits and family day tickets to the Science Oxford Centre in Headington.

Sian Stratton, education outreach manager at Science Oxford, says: “As always, we’ve been extremely impressed by the talented young school scientists taking part in the Big Science Event.

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“The children have so much fun creating their experiments and the judging panel loves to listen to their presentations.

“The standard has been very high so it has been difficult to select a winner this year. Watching the children get excited by science is wonderful and rewarding. We look forward to running this initiative for many years to come.”

The competition was run in association with Diamond Light Source, technology company Abbott and Playforce.

Professor Andrew Harrison, CEO of Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron, said: “We are really pleased to be involved in the Big Science Event as it is clearly helping to inspire the next generation of scientists. 

“The range and ingenuity of the young students in this competition is staggering and the fact that they are all clearly fascinated by science is wonderful.”

Oscar Sorabjee, managing director of Playforce says: “Playforce has supported the Big Science Event for many years. We are thrilled to be part of the competition in 2022 and to provide a prize of playground equipment for the winning school.

“We are passionate about proving ways for pupils to explore and learn about the world around them in a fun and practical way – and the Big Science Event continues to do just that.”

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This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for the Oxfordshire papers. 

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