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Prep school science

Essay competition

We are delighted to announce this year’s essay competition. The competition is open to pupils in years 6 and 7. We ask that entries are by individual pupils working independently, although some guidance on how to proceed from teachers is appropriate. Can I request electronic copies of all reports this year? They can be delivered to a dropbox on the school website and found on the link below. We also wish to run entries through the Turnitin anti-plagiarism software. We recognise that the research skills of these young pupils are only just developing, but we do want to honour those who have rewritten information in their own words, showing their understanding of the content. Prizes of book tokens with values up to £50 are on offer, as well as an invitation to all entrants to come to a winners’ party, prize giving and lecture. This year the theme for the competition is cheating in sport (and how to catch the cheats): 

  • Biology - What beneficial physiological changes that can be achieved through training and practice can be made to happen illegally using drugs? You might consider how testing and biological passports are working to clean up sports. 
  • Chemistry  - What is the biochemistry of the drugs being used to illegally enhance performance in sport. How does the chemistry of the drug affect the body? What tests are being created to detect these drugs? 
  • Physics  - Tiny motors on bicycles, “deflategate” in the NFL, gouging cricket balls, pine tar on pitchers’ fingers, corking baseball bats and many illegal moving parts and aerodynamic aids on racing cars. Using Physics to cheat comes in many forms. Survey a few or focus on one example, and examine how the cheats were caught. 

Get in contact for more details, including the marking scheme we use to judge entries. Entries must reach us by 21 January 2017 and the date of the entrants’ party and prize giving will be on the afternoon of  Tuesday 14 March. I am sorry, but we cannot return scripts or give details of marks given. The best scripts will be on display during the presentation party. If you need to motivate your pupils, tell them that a previous winner of this competition who came on to Bryanston, won the national Kitchener Essay Prize 2015 for the effect of nutrition on mental health. Their writing now could be the start of something big.