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Lecturers from College in Hull Reach Final Round of Prestigious Science Prize

A group of lecturers from Bishop Burton College in Hull are one of only nine groups in the UK to reach the final round of the Rolls-Royce Science Prize competition.

By reaching the final, the college will now receive £5,000 in financial support from Rolls-Royce, a digital camcorder and the services of a specialist mentor, all of which will help put the plans they submitted for the prize into action. For their competition entry, the college proposed to create a project designed to study the process of heat transfer between various mediums, such as the heat flow within motor engines. The project would include the use of a CD ROM and would focus on heat flow at various levels, beginning with the most basic principles of physics, through to more in-depth scientific techniques.

How to Build a Top Team

The team consisted of three lecturers, captain Alan Sergeant (the course manager for the National Diploma in Engineering), Sandra Styan and Tim Waters from the engineering and science departments at the college. Mr Sergeant said: “I am enormously proud of the team’s achievements ““ to be selected as a finalists in such a well-known competition is great and I hope that it shows just how much Bishop Burton College has to offer. We have a very dynamic engineering and science departments here at the college and that fact that we have done so well in this competition is testament to this.”

The aim of the competition is to encourage creative thinking amongst teachers concerning the way in which they teach science subjects and is open to teams from any educational establishment that teaches children and young people between the ages of three and nineteen.


The competition is split into three parts. The first phase asks teams to submit a detailed, budgeted proposal, setting out teaching objectives, the implementation outline and methods of monitoring and evaluation. The second phase lasts for 24 weeks in which the teams must create a project from their plans, with encouragement and support from their allocated mentor. An independent panel of senior science education advisors then judges all work. The Bishop Burton College team will begin implementation in the third phase in September 2006, with a gala event planned for June 2007 when the winners will be announced.

The team that is judged to be most successful wins £15,000 for its science-teaching programme, plus a day at RAF Scampton with the Red Arrows. The team that comes second win £10,000 to invest in science education in its school or college.

Paul Keely

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