Shrewsbury School

Darwin Prep School Science Competition 2018

Wednesday 14 March 2018

We were delighted to welcome teams of young and enthusiastic scientists to take part in our second Darwin Science Competition on Thursday 8th March.

The competition pitted 16 teams of Year 7 pupils from ten different prep schools against each other over a number of written and practical rounds.

In the quiz rounds during the morning, the teams of four demonstrated their general scientific knowledge, answering questions drawn from biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy that included picture rounds, “identify the apparatus” by touch alone and physics calculations.  Particular fun was had with rounds to identify sounds from the animal kingdom and some fiendishly tricky chemistry smells.

After a quick refuel in KH, the pupils moved on to complete a series of fun practical investigations in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Faculties. From structures to plants, and from silver reactions to building the best electromagnet, the teams battled to accumulate points through the sessions, as each investigation was judged. 


Scientific analysis, laboratory skills and teamwork were demonstrated in abundance by all of the teams who took part.

The pupils were able to experience working in our laboratories with equipment and chemicals that they do not have access to at their own schools.

The standard was very high and the results were very tight; in the written quiz, only seven points separated the top four teams.

The overall champions of the Darwin Science Competition 2018 were Prestfelde 1, with Shrewsbury High Prep and Bilton Grange 1 coming a close second and third respectively. 

The winning team was presented with a specially designed glass trophy featuring Darwin’s ‘I Think’ Tree of Life doodle, which they will be able to keep. Those team members also received individual prizes of a special Darwin winners’ mug and a beautiful hardback copy of ‘The Science Book’ – a complete science compendium with inventive artwork, concepts and biographies.

The winners of the practical sessions were:

  • Physics: 1st - Winterfold House 2, 2nd - Bilton Grange 2, 3rd - Shrewsbury High Prep
  • Biology: 1st - Bilton Grange 1, 2nd - Shrewsbury High Prep, 3rd - Yarlet
  • Chemistry: 1st - Cothill 1, 2nd - Bilton Grange 1, 3rd - Prestfelde 2

Each 1st place team was awarded a fun science activity prize for their efforts.

All the pupils went home with a goody bag, T-shirt and certificate to congratulate them for their participation, hard work and excellent science etiquette during the day.  The competition will run annually and we hope it will help to encourage and inspire as many pupils as possible to investigate their scientific passions as thoroughly as the famous Old Salopian after whom the competition was named.

Rachel Schofield, Senior Chemistry Technician, and Andy Briggs, Head of Science

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