Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has announced the winners of the 2011 Rolls-Royce Science Prize, which celebrates and rewards excellence in science teaching. Now in its eighth year, the science prize showcases inspirational projects across the country.
At an awards ceremony held last night at London’s Science Museum, Staunton-on-Wye Endowed Primary School, Hereford and Mulberry School for Girls, London, beat off competition from 2,000 UK schools to be declared this year’s joint winners. They were each handed £15,000 in prize money to advance science teaching in their schools, along with the chance to spend the day with the Red Arrows display team.
Presenting the awards, John Rishton, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, said: “In the future, all of our lives will critically depend on the engineers, scientists and mathematicians who will discover how to produce enough low carbon energy to power the world, build planes that travel non-stop to the furthest corners of the world, using less fuel and travelling more quietly than any aircraft today.
“It is hard to think of a profession more important than teaching. The Rolls-Royce science prize was set up to recognise inspirational science teaching and reward outstanding teachers. I am extremely proud to award this year’s prize to two schools whose projects demonstrate that science teaching can be innovative, creative and fun. Both schools set a fantastic example and I congratulate them both.”
Pupils at Staunton-on-Wye Primary School researched the environmental and social impacts of various building materials, which were then used to construct a play house in the school grounds. Science Co-ordinator, Karen Williams, said: “Our whole school has been immersed in exciting, practical science activities related to our Rolls-Royce project and our children have learned how to apply their knowledge and skills in the best way possible. We are all very proud of the house we have built and of the children’s commitment to using science responsibly.”
Mulberry School for Girls used a hydroponic greenhouse, powered by renewable energy to conduct experiments and learn about sustainable energy and food production. Director of STEM Learning, Deborah Colvin, said: “It’s a great honour to accept this award on behalf of everyone at the school, whose hard work and dedication to science made the project possible. We shall invest the prize money wisely within the science department.”
Established in 2004, the Rolls-Royce Science Prize is part of the company’s commitment to promote science and engineering in schools by rewarding inspirational teaching. Since this time, over £800,000 in prize money has been distributed to 300 schools across the UK. In addition, Rolls-Royce has contributed £1million to Project ENTHUSE, a partnership between business and Government dedicated to training and inspiring STEM subject teachers.