This work was an interesting project which started off with an idea of how to encourage pupils to do more practical work in Physics, and ended up being part of a Science Action Physics research project published by Southampton University.
The funding for the equipment originally came from the Science Learning Centre and then we were shortlisted for a Science Prize and won the merit award as well.
I was certainly my first attempt in the classroom at some proper analysis of learning and the questionnaires worked really to compare the before and after the sequence of practical lessons. It was also quite interesting looking at the other Science staff and what they looked out in their own research. I think the big difference is now that you can easily do a lot of this on MS forms with questionnaires.
This was the original press release….
Mill Hill SCHOOL SHORTLISTED FOR ROLLS-ROYCE SCIENCE PRIZE
A Derbyshire school has been selected as one of 50 schools in the UK to take part in this year’s Rolls-Royce Science Prize.
Mill Hill School, Ripley has been awarded a £1,000 Special Merit Award to help develop Science teaching, following a proposal put forward by teachers at the school to develop the analytical skills of pupils by developing a range of group based practical experiments.
The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is part of the company’s ongoing drive to promote Science and engineering in schools by encouraging and rewarding inspirational science teaching. Each year, the company awards a total of £120,000 in cash prizes to schools that enter the competition through the Science Learning Centre network.
Around 1,500 schools enter the competition each year, and Mill Hill School will now have to wait until July when, after judging, the nine finalist schools will be announced.
If chosen as a finalist, the school would then receive a further £5,000 to help implement their proposal during the next academic year. The nine finalists would then compete for the first prize of £15,000 and a day with the Red Arrows display team.
Helen Bishop, Rolls-Royce Head of Community Relations, said: “Educating a new generation of young scientists is vital for our country, and the Rolls-Royce Science Prize is a good example of industry working with teachers around the UK to inspire and excite pupils about science. Jobs in science, engineering and technology can be very rewarding and getting students enthused early on can often help influence their future career aspirations.
“We are delighted to be making this award and wish the team the best of luck”.
Mr Powell, Faculty Leader KS5 Science / eLearning at the school, added: “The project we have been undertaking at Mill Hill is really focused on improving pupil outcomes and enjoyment of Physics through practical engagement. Schools are struggling to keep up with the latest equipment as whole class sets run into hundreds of pounds. This award will solely be spent on equipment to demonstrate or allow more whole class practical lessons which result in quantitative data for pupils to work on. This will take learning to a whole new level and further the Action Physics Project initiated by Mr Powell.
The national network of Science Learning Centres provide professional development for teachers of science at all levels. Any teachers that attend courses can enter their school into the Rolls-Royce Science Prize.