Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

I was really privileged yesterday to find myself as one of the Judges of the First Campus Hands On Science “Science RAPs” competition. The event was opened by a fantastic Rap created by John Chase with a video in the background created entirely using Science Photo Library images and videos. The way John represented Science in his Rap and the fantastic integration of images and videos edited by Alison Somerville of Photo Library made the whole experience quite Magic!

Then, it was time to watch the video Raps entered by learners from various schools. All entries were really inspiring and entertaining. We had entries from Howell’s School (Llandaff), Whitchurch High SchoolTonypandy Community College and Gwauncelyn Primary.

So, the winners were in this order:

– Overall winner “The life of a star” by the White Dwarfs (Tonypandy Community College) with a fantastic and really scientifically sound rap on the life cycle of a star. I am sure this group learnt a lot by writing this rap and this topic will really stick!

– Runner up and highly commended ‘Nanotechnology’ by Dr Incy-Wincy + Mouse (Gwauncelyn Primary). This was a phenomenal entry. In fact, it was our only Primary entry, but the amazing Anas (Year 6) entered on his own and did all the recordings and editing. The Science in his video is really sound and the topic really interesting. Well done Anas, a great job!

– Best Entertainment Value (Whitchurch High School). This group of Yr9 pupils chose some really entertaining clips on forces and they really seemed to have great fun doing it!

– Best Original Analogy (Howell’s School). The “Fusion Love” rap from this group of girls in Howell’s was a really cool analogy between a love story and two nuclei that fuse (merge) in a nuclear fusion reaction.

Apart from the lovely trophy the winning school received, there were lots of really cool prizes for everyone. In particular the overall winners won a HD Flip Camera each. There were also shopping vouchers for the runner up and other great goody bags for everyone.

This was a really worthwhile experience for the learners who became so involved in their fantastic work, and not only for the prizes they received, but because of the learning process in the whole project!

It would be great to have more entries next year, so make sure you look out for the competition and send your entries in!

I am sooooo pleased to announce that the fantastic online TV show our Yr10 pupils produced last year, the one and only “EM Spectrum Show“, was awarded first prize at the Guardian Classroom Innovation Awards at BETT 2011!

My Yr10 students put together a really creative programme of resources that we used to broadcast live as our “EM Spectrum Show!” on the 17th December 2009. The original plan was to broadcast from the school, but unfortunately our school network filtered the stream from our classroom, so my students and I decided to record their work and broadcast the show live from my house. In many ways this turned out to be a very valuable alternative, because it meant the world to our children to be able to watch the show from their houses and know that leading Educators like, Les Foltos (Director of edLAB Puget Sound Center for Teaching), from across the globe were watching and praising the educational value of their work. Also, the students’ parents could watch the show with their children and become involved and engaged with their learning on a completely new level.
What I like most about this project is that our children chose to use free software for the majority of their work, but still produced a really engaging, creative, rich and fun programme that contained a wealth of really good Science in it! We used mainly free Microsoft software like Photo Story 3, Songsmith, Movie Maker and Community Clips, and we created our very own online TV Channel with Livestream ( Some people get the impression that to create really innovative and engaging activities for our children they need state of the art equipment and spend large sums of money, but I believe this project proves just the opposite. In fact, all our students had was a laptop between two, or three, and a headset with microphone and still got involved in true active learning!
Winning the Guardian Classroom Innovation Awards is simply amazing, because we know we were against other fantastic projects.
We would like to thank all the people who supported and believed in our project and especially ASUS for their overwhelming generosity, which will allow us to continue to engage even more regularly in projects like this one! In fact, we will now have the really difficult task to choose from their amazing range of great hardware and spend the £7500 award they so kindly offered to support these awards. By sponsoring an initiative like the Guardian Classroom Innovation Awards ASUS has shown that they put innovation and education at the heart of what they do and I am proud to be sponsored by such a company!