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AWE’s A-level science challenge

Some of the brightest minds from local schools were put to the test recently at the annual AWE A-Level Science Challenge.

The event forms part of AWE’s ‘AWEsome Education’ campaign – an initiative which aims to encourage the study of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in education and leading to future careers.

Ten schools attended the event, held at Tadley Community Centre on October 16. Pupils had to tackle a variety of problems which included having to break into a locked briefcase by overcoming chemistry and cryptography problems; a laser challenge where the teams were given the task of calculating the storage capacity of CDs and DVDs, designing and building a wind turbine then finally solving questions and launching projectiles to gain bonus points. The day concluded with a talk from Head of Plasma Physics at AWE Andrew Randewich ”

The event was organised by a team of AWE graduates as part of their graduate development programme with the guidance and help of project sponsor John Ansell, one of AWE’s Assurance Governance managers.

AWE graduate Bec Marsh described the event as a ‘great success’.

She said: “It is very much about getting the children involved in STEM subjects. We hope that they feel inspired by this day."

Graduate Pete Allan said: “My speciality is physics and this event is great for promoting a subject that is not taken up by many students. It looks like they have really enjoyed the day.”

John Ansell said the pupils were very well engaged. “Although concentrating hard we’ve seen a lot of smiles” he said.

Park House pupil, 16-year-old, Anna Gildersleeves said: “It was a really fun day with very challenging work. It was great seeing how equations are translated into science”.

Following a day of demanding mental challenges the Reading based all-girls school - Kendrick clinched first place. Team member 17-year-old Hannah Buckley said: “It was much more enjoyable than expected. I really liked the maths questions. I’m still surprised we won, but really happy”. Kendrick teammate Kefei Hu said: “I’m really overjoyed that we won. The day was very challenging and was quite beyond our A-level studies”. Kendrick teacher Teresa Conlon said: “Today was great. The pupils were very stimulated and I really enjoyed it”.

The schools that took part in the challenge included – The Abbey, Bearwood, Bulmershe, Highdown, Kendrick, Little Heath, Park House, St Bartholomews, Theale Green and Willink.

Notes to Editors:

  1. AWE plc at Aldermaston and Burghfield, manage and operate the Atomic Weapons Establishment on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, manufacturing and maintaining the warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent. 
  2. All AWE press releases are available on our website: www.awe.co.uk

Contact:
AWE PRESS OFFICE 0118 985 5888
AWE Rachel Whybrow 0118 985 6414 or Val Hincks, 0118 985 6410

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