Shrewsbury School

2019 Darwin Science Competition for Prep Schools

Monday 18 March 2019

We were delighted to welcome teams of young and enthusiastic scientists to take part in our second Darwin Science Competition at Shrewsbury School on Thursday 14th March.

It wasn’t hard to decide to name a flagship Prep School event after our most famous former pupil, Charles Darwin.

The competition pitted ten teams of Year 7 pupils from ten different prep schools against each other over a number of both written and practical rounds.

In the quiz rounds during the morning, the teams of four demonstrated their general scientific knowledge, answering questions drawn from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy together with picture rounds, 'identify the apparatus' and physics calculations. Particular fun was had with rounds to identify sounds from the animal kingdom and some fiendishly tricky chemistry smells.

After a quick refuel in KH, the pupils moved on to complete a series of fun practical investigations across the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Faculties. From structures to specimens, to separations and silver mirror reactions and building the building, the teams battled to accumulate points through the sessions, as each investigation was judged.

Scientific analysis, laboratory skills and teamwork were demonstrated in abundance by all of the teams who took part.

The pupils were able to experience working in our laboratories with equipment and chemicals that they do not have access to at their own schools.

The standard was very high and the results were very tight. Only six points separated the top three teams in the written quiz! The overall champions of the Darwin Science Competition 2019 were Cothill 1, with Packwood Haugh and Shrewsbury High Prep coming a close second and third.

The winning team was presented with a bespoke designed glass trophy to keep featuring Darwin’s ‘I Think’ Tree of Life doodle. Those team members also received individual prizes of a specially designed Darwin winners’ mug and a beautiful hardback copy of The Science Book – a complete science compendium with inventive artwork, concepts and biographies.

Winners of the practical sessions were:
Physics: 1st – Shrewsbury High Prep 2, 2nd – Cothill 1, 3rd – Prestfelde 1
Biology: 1st - Yarlet 1, 2nd – Prestfelde 1, 3rd – Moor Park
Chemistry: 1st - Cothill 1, Joint 2nd – Yarlet, Abberley Hall 1 & Abberley Hall 2

Each 1st place team was awarded a fun science activity prize for their efforts.

Darwin Science Competition 2019 winners - Cothill 1


All pupils went home with a goody bag and certificate to congratulate them for their participation, hard work and excellent science etiquette during the day. The competition will run annually and we hope to encourage as many pupils as possible to investigate their scientific passions as thoroughly as Charles Darwin.

Andy Briggs
Head of Science

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