Highland school in finals of national science competition
Gairloch High School Science Department has reached the final of the 2014-2015 Rolls Royce Science Prize. Set up in 2004, the Rolls-Royce Science Prize is part of the Group's ongoing drive to promote science and engineering in schools by encouraging and rewarding inspirational science teaching.
Gairloch is the only Scottish school to progress to the final. Nine finalist schools will develop their projects and be judged in November 2015. The national winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced during an event at the Science Museum in London.
Head Teacher, John Port said: “This is a very exciting project for our pupils and I am grateful that teachers will be able to benefit from working alongside our professional partners. The bonus of support from the Rolls Royce Science Prize gives us an opportunity to make serious scientific techniques available to the younger pupils enhancing their involvement in learning and their understanding of scientific method.
“We have already been awarded £6000 to progress our project over the next year. Mr. Andrew Johnston has developed the project based on developing Broad General Education in S1 to S3 with the support of other staff and partners.”
The project is a development of several strands of work at Gairloch High School. Students will work with Professor Dave Barclay, a locally based and eminent forensic scientist, to solve cases based on real events. They will work with former pupil and PhD student Jennifer Port (Beatson Institute and University of Glasgow) to improve their understanding of PCR and forensic DNA testing.
Mr Port added: “Our students will also work with Mr Ranjan Thilagarajah, a consultant surgeon who is involved in using technology to advance medical education in the developing world. With his help, we will use information and communications technologies to stream our science sessions to other schools in real time and to archive them afterwards. We will build a bank of materials that will support the broad, general education of our S1, 2 and 3 pupils, all based around the need to properly examine evidence before drawing a conclusion.
“As well as developing this work in school it is our intention to provide training for other science teachers across Highland and make some of our new resources available for wider use in Highland Schools.”
Rani Gill, Rolls-Royce, Project Manager, Science Prize, said: “Rolls-Royce has long advocated science teaching in schools. Now in its 10th year the Rolls-Royce Science Prize has encouraged teachers to improve science teaching and inspire children with exciting, intellectually stimulating and relevant science education. Gairloch High School has risen to the challenge and has put forward an excellent proposal. I wish them the very best in the competition.”