Earlier this month, Clare Harvey, CEO of The Ogden Trust, presented 28 Year 12 students at Alexandra Park Sixth Form with their CREST Silver awards in recognition of their outstanding contribution to science education and inspiration across Haringey primary schools.
Students undertook an intensive programme of planning and delivering weekly science lessons and experiments to primary schools across the Borough, ranging from studying how suspension bridges stay upright, how sour should sherbet be and the science behind volcanoes.
In total, over 300 primary school pupils benefited from the inspirational hands-on science lessons delivered by the APS Sixth Formers.
Ogden Teacher Fellow Mr Henry Hammond, Science Director at APS and organiser of the programme said, “we spend five weeks training these wonderful Year 12 students, they then deliver up to 15 hours of science club sessions at the primary school they are working with. The Y12s plan, risk assess and evaluate each session. This dissemination model means many more primary students benefit from extra science support than if we as staff ran these sessions.”
Maya Vihidi who volunteered at Muswell Hill Primary School agreed saying, “this has to be one of the best things I have done. The planning and delivery of a 4-month long project was daunting but the energy and enthusiasm of the primary pupils was contagious.”
“the work they have done is exceptional. Grass roots projects such as these are how we will engage the scientists of the future”
Clare Harvey, Chief Executive Officer, The Ogden Trust
Another APS volunteer when asked if this experience has influenced her to follow a career in science said “most definitely. My plans are to read Robotics at Imperial, let them try and stop me."
Mr James Wilshire, Headteacher of Muswell Hill Primary School, was impressed with the dedication of the students. He said, “the delivery of 16 full-on, engaging science sessions through an entire school year would be a daunting enough prospect for a trained specialist teacher. I have been blown away by the positive impact this project has had on our children”
Alexandra Park School Headteacher, Mr Michael McKenzie, adds, “We have a simple goal at APS; to change the way science is perceived and taught across this country. This primary partners project is a vital link in this aim."
The CREST Silver Award is presented to students who enrich their science studies through an extended project. They require around 30 hours of project work where students develop their own project idea and gain experience of going through the scientific process.