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Pate’s Grammar School wins FameLab Academy Final 2017

PUBLISHED: 13:50 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:54 19 April 2017

EDF FameLab Academy Gloucestershire Finals 2017 at EDF Barnwood (c) Martin Bennett

EDF FameLab Academy Gloucestershire Finals 2017 at EDF Barnwood (c) Martin Bennett

©Martin Bennett

Sriram Iyer from Pate’s Grammar School beat 1,500 other Year 9 pupils in Gloucestershire to win the coveted title of FameLab Academy Winner 2017

Sriram had just three minutes to explain a scientific topic of his choice and was judged on his presentation’s content, clarity and charisma. Runners-up were Josh Thomas from Wyedean School and Sydney Davies from Dean Close School.

Thirteen Gloucestershire schools competed in the science communication competition organised by Cheltenham Science Festival and held at the EDF premises in Barnwood. Each school held heats for all their Year 9 pupils and chose one pupil to represent their school in the final.

Subjects ranged from normal teenage concerns like spots, hormones, anxiety and dreams to Life on Mars and the secret superpowers of geckos.

Schools taking part for the first time in the 2017 Academy were: All Saint’s Academy, Dean Close School, Stroud High School and Westonbirt School. Returning schools were, Chosen Hill School, The Cotswold School, Dene Magna School, Millbrook Academy, Pates Grammar School, Rednock School, St Edward’s School, Thomas Keble School, Wyedean School and Sixth Form.

The competition was expertly compered by Blue Peter’s Science Guy Greg Foot who has hosted multiple BBC series and racked up more than 10 million YouTube hits answering curious questions.

The judges were:

Jo Durrant, BBC Radio Gloucestershire presenter

Jonny Brooks-Bartlett, data scientist at News UK

Gwen Parry Jones, OBE, Generation Development Director at EDF Energy

The winner received £250 for himself and £250 for his school. The two runners up received £75 of STEM books. The prizes were presented by Ali Mawle, Director of Education at Cheltenham Festivals. All the contestants received a £25 Cheltenham Festival voucher to encourage them to attend events and activities at the Science Festival in June.

Over 1,500 students took part in FameLab Academy in 2017 and every student was given the opportunity to achieve a British Science Association CREST Bronze Award and learned about potential careers in the STEM industry.

Sharron Pearson, Education Manager at Cheltenham Festivals, said: “FameLab Academy is now in its third successful year in Gloucestershire and the competition has gone from strength to strength. We are delighted that 13 schools from around the county have taken part this year. All the teachers have encouraged their students to find a topic they are really interested in. Students have extending their learning and have developed their communication skills and their confidence. FameLab Academy really encourages students to understand how STEM subjects are relevant to their lives and their futures, as well as being a fun challenge.”

STEM mentors from industry came from EDF, Versarien, University of Bristol, University of Surrey and Renishaw. The relationships formed between the schools and the STEM mentors continue to flourish once FameLab Academy has finished for the year.

Bob Fenton, Head of Communications for EDF Energy Generation said: ‘FameLab Academy is a great thing to be part of. It’s great for imagination and it’s great to see so many young people inspired to participate as science and engineering are fundamental to everyday life.

‘Supporting education is really important to EDF Energy, and the opportunity to be part of Cheltenham Science Festival is a significant part of us reaching out in to the wider community.’

Watch the FameLab Academy video below:

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