Press Releases

"Your starter for 10 is &ellipse; " – University of Reading

Release Date : 11 March 2004

Students from eight Berkshire schools are preparing themselves for a 'scientific knowledge' showdown as the finals of the University Science Challenge take place at the University of Reading on March 17 – during National Science Week. Eight teams of Year 9 students have already battled their way through to the finals after triumphing during the series of knock-out rounds held at the University in February. Now, they will go head-to-head for the chance to win a piece of scientific equipment up to the value of £250 for their school and a trophy for their school cabinet. The quiz is based on BBC 2's popular University challenge programme, and each team of four students use their buzzers to answer the "starter for 10" and three bonus questions. The quiz master for the Challenge will be the Department of Meteorology's Dr Peter Inness, who is an old hand at University Challenge after competing on the Royal Meteorological Society's team during last year's 'Professionals' spin-off series. He said: "I'm no Jeremy Paxman, but I hope to bring a sense of realism to the event." The School Science Challenge was organised by Mohammed Ansar in the University of Reading's Widening Participation Office. He said: "This has been a tremendously successful event and the knowledge that the students displayed in the earlier heats, even surprised our own science undergraduates. "We want the students to enjoy their involvement and test their knowledge of science against other teams. The University is trying to get young people more enthused about science at school and if we can help with that, events such as University Science Challenge, can only be a good thing. "This quiz encourages them to see science as being relevant and fun. Hopefully, it will also persuade some of them to study science subjects after the age of 16." The trophy will be presented to the triumphant winners by Phillipa Harris from the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science), national organisers of National Science Week. Schools taking part in the final rounds are: -Garth Hill College, Bracknell -Ranelagh School, Bracknell (2 teams) -St Bartholomew's School, Newbury -Bulmershe School, Reading -Denefield School, Reading -Theale Community College, Reading -St Crispin's School, Wokingham End For further information, please contact Mohammed Ansar, Widening Participation Office, University of Reading. Tel: 0118 378 6127 Email: Notes for editors The University School Science challenge is just one of a series of activities for school students being organised by the Widening Participation Office at the University of Reading during National Science Week. Other highlights include: • Mathsmagicians: Sir Mathsalot and Queen and Princess Countalot show off their fantastic magic maths number tricks. • sciborgs: students design and build their own remote-controlled robot buggies. • The Science of Slime: students get sticky and find out how to make multi-coloured slime and potty putty. • DNA Detectives: a crime is simulated and students have to work out 'whodunnit' by processing real DNA from the scene of the 'crime'. • Turbo Power/Little big things: using the universities electrom microscopes and turbine jet engine, students get the chance to experience and find out how some high tech scientific works. • Science Olympics: a series of mini scientific investigations/challenges allowing students to use their problem solving and team work skills to stand a chance of winning a gold, silver and bronze medal. • Chemistry masterclass: A-level students learn more about spectroscopy and use the hi-tec equipment at the university to support them in their school curriculum. • Microbiology masterclass: investigations into what part microbes play in our everyday lives, aimed at supporting biology students undertaking their sixth form studies at school.


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