Celebrating success 2017

29 June 2017

Throughout this summer term, our Ogden Science Officers (and others) have been busy celebrating the achievements of young physicists from schools in their area. Twenty-Five Schools Physicist of the Year (SPotY) events have been planned or have already taken place.

More than 600 students will be recognised this year for their achievements and efforts in physics, including many Year 6 primary students who will receive Primary Scientist of the Year Awards.

The SPotY events welcome the most promising physics students, the dedicated teachers and the proud parents to share the excitement of science. As well as recognising the young physicists and awarding their certificates of achievement, the events give a real flavour of what it means to study physics, with hands-on activities and lectures. 

This year, the first East of England SPotY event was held. Organised by Partnership Co-ordinator Anke Friedrich in association with the Cavendish Laboratory, local students from 12 schools across East Anglia and their parents were welcomed to Churchill College.

Many thanks for a lovely event on Friday – the students were made to feel very special (as they deserved to) and the whole event was beautifully well done.
SPotY for the East of England at Churchill College Cambridge. Photo by Pembrey Studio
SPotY East of England

Undergraduate STEM students from Churchill wowed the crowds with demos of gyroscopic motion, waveguides, refraction and other physics puzzles such as ‘hand boilers’ and ‘tippe tops.’ Dr Dave Green enthralled the audience with ‘some physics, some history and a bit of time travel!’ and Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright gave the students a great insight into what it is like to study physics at Cambridge.

From the very start of his secondary education, this student has shown a deep level of interest and understanding in physics, both as a subject and in its wider implications.

As he progressed through the school he was always one of the first to raise his hand to give an opinion or ask an insightful question, often far above the level at which he was actually studying.

At A-level, the student has found his niche. He has a rare, intuitive grasp of concepts in physics, which he is prepared to back up with the discipline of mathematical rigor. He makes intellectual leaps in class, linking different elements of his studies and formulating new concepts to test.

“It was tremendous to see so many young people and their families at a SPoTY event in the East of England,” said Ogden Regional Representative Graham Wigley. “All of the new partnerships established this year (Mid Suffolk, Ipswich, West Suffolk and Leicestershire) were well represented, joining more established partnership schools from Wellingborough and Stamford & Peterborough.”

SPotY at Warwick: Photo by Tennison Photography
SPotY at Warwick
Thank you for a great evening and celebration of physics last night: to have all the demonstrations going on was a great idea and alongside the lecture made for a special evening. My student and his family really appreciated the evening: his sister now wants to study physics!
Warwick SPotY 
SPotY at Exeter. Photo by Richard Austin
SPotY at Exeter
An Ogden SPotY winner: Exeter

For many years, this student has demonstrated a genuine enthusiasm for physics. Her resilience, work ethic and logical, no-nonsense approach have resulted in stunning levels of achievement. She has excellent mathematical and problem solving skills, and enjoys tackling the most challenging work. She also has a flair for practical tasks, and a good sense of humour when things just don’t quite work out! This student should also be commended for the selfless and patient support that she frequently gives her peers.
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