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Children from eight local primary schools recently took up AWE’s annual Chain Reaction Challenge.
The event, held at the Tadley Community Centre, Newchurch Road, aims to encourage young people to develop a passion for science with its thriving schools programme and aim of inspiring future generations by showing just how much fun it can be.
The Chain Reaction Challenge is run every year by a group of AWE graduates.
Participating pupils are tasked to design and construct a ‘chain reaction device’, using only classroom and household objects.
This year, the first challenge tested engineering skills of the pupils from Years 5 and 6, as they were asked to build bridges, using their ingenuity. They were also treated to demonstrations and talks in electromagnetism, forensic science, aerodynamics and high speed imagery.
During the afternoon, the pupils, aged between nine and 11, put the last touches to their devices and talked the judges through their designs.
The judging was carried out by several people from AWE including Julie Taylor, Director ESH&Q; Shan Martin, Director Human Resources, Philippa Kent, Corporate Communications, and Duncan Broughton, project sponsor of Chain Reaction.
Nick Bright, one of the members of the graduate team, said: “It was really great to see the children getting excited about science; being able to pass on our passion for science and technology to the next generation was really satisfying. Lots of the ideas the children came up with for their chain reactions were very impressive!”
Duncan added: “Chain Reaction 2013 again proved a great hit with children and teachers from local primary schools.
“The 'main event' inspired some wonderful constructions to maintain the chain reaction whilst the workshops and demonstrations enthused the children with, for example, building simple electrical motors and a bridge from basic materials, and, watching demonstrations of a small wind tunnel and balloons popping captured with high-speed photography. Seeing how much the pupils enjoyed themselves during the day was also very rewarding.”
The first place trophy was awarded to Sherborne St John CofE Primary School, in Basingstoke, who received a cheque for £500. Second place and a cheque for £300 went to Fairfields Junior School, in Basingstoke; third place went to North Waltham Primary School, in Basingstoke, together with a cheque for £100.
Every pupil who took part received a certificate, goody bag and science kits to take back to their school.
Other schools which took part were: Burghclere Primary School, in Newbury; Garland Primary School, in Reading; Mortimer St Mary's Junior School, in Mortimer; Parsons Down Junior School, in Thatcham; and Springfield Primary School, in Tilehurst.
Pic1:Winners Sherborne St John CofE Primary School, in Basingstoke, with their experiment
Pic2: North Waltham School with their experiment.
Pic3: Local primary schools watching an experiment.
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