The RCSU Science Challenge Launched yesterday to a packed lecture theatre in SAF. After a few technical issues, followers of the events were able to tune in live online with a feed direct from the lecture theatre. This was just in time to catch Guest Speaker, Professor Lord Robert Winston's talk on the 'real' challenge - the challenge of effectively communicating science to the masses.
This years science challenge centres around four questions. There will be a prize for the best essay in answer to each question in both the Imperial and the Schools Category. Imperial College students are invited to support their old schools by encouraging them to enter the event with a chance to win a 'Schools Prize' for the best overall school entrants.
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The questions for this years Science Challenge will be:
- What might we learn from the Large Hadron Collider project? from Prof. Tejinder Virdee, CERN
- What can be done to ensure an informed and balanced debate of Science and Technology? from Dr. Martyn Sené, National Physics Laboratory
- Will Homo Sapiens continue to evolve? If so, how? from Prof. Armand Leroi, Imperial College London
- Hydrogen is key to tackling the world's rapidly increasing demand for energy. Discuss. from Duncan Macleod, Shell
The final details of this years prizes were also anounced at the event which include a mixture of individual and group prizes:
Imperial College Competition
- First Prize: £5,000 in cash, supported by Winton Capital
- Runner-up Prizes: Three prizes worth £1,000 in cash each
- First Prize: £5,000 bursary for study at Imperial College
- Runner-up Prizes: Three bursary prizes worth £1,000 each
In addition to the above, 2009 sees the introduction of experience prizes. The winners will be given guided tours of some of the top scientific laboratories and research sites including a trip to CERN and the National Physics Laboratory as well as a day shadowing Professor Lord Robert Winston at the House of Lords.
2009 also sees the introduction of a new schools prize, awarded to the school with the highest aggregate mark from all its entries, and a prize for the wittiest answer. The school will win a trip to one of Shell's laboratories while the funniest entry will get their hands on an iPod nano. In addition, all school entrants will receive a certificate for participation, with Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates awarded to those in the top 10%, 20% and 30% of the competition respectively.
Competition entries are to be made online at http://sciencechallenge.org. The deadline for submission is Monday 2nd March 2009. You can only make one entry per person and essays should be the work of an individual, not the work of a group. The venue for this years Science Challenge is yet to be announced. There are high expectations following the prestigious events at the Ritz and Science Museum in previous years.