Castleview Primary School win the Rolls-Royce Science Prize

6 November 2019

Rolls-Royce Science Prize 2019 Winners

Congratulations to Castleview Primary School who have been named the overall winner of the 2019 Rolls Royce Science Prize and the Eden Award in a partnership with CRM’s Dr Cathy Southworth.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize was founded in 2004 and recognises excellence in science teaching across the full spectrum of teaching contexts. It also seeks to promote sustainable teaching ideas that address specific needs in schools and contribute to teachers’ continuing professional development.

Castleview Primary School had been shortlisted as one of six finalists for their project People like me can do STEM, which aimed to build science capital and remove poverty of ambition. Based in Craigmillar, an area of multiple deprivation in Edinburgh, the school recognised that their pupils’ science capital was not the same as others and saw it as their job to build it.

Dr Cathy Southworth, Community Engagement Manager at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Edinburgh BioQuarter said:

"We are extremely proud at MRC-CRM to have been partners with Castleview Primary School, in realising their project vision.”

The aim of the project was to raise aspirations and make pupils believe that they can do STEM through a three pronged approach – young people, their families and community. It sought to get the entire school and their families excited about science and create on-going partnerships with local STEM institutions. The pupils were given a real voice in creating the project which included a pupil lead science newspaper, science clubs, teacher CPD, a parent - children STEM challenge and a community science festival.

The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine was a key partner on the project, with Dr Cathy Southworth working with colleagues from Castleview Primary School to develop and realise the project vision. Staff and researchers from the Centre, Edinburgh BioQuarter and the wider University were involved in delivering a range of science engagement activities, including the community science festival and a holiday science club.

Cathy said: 

“MRC-CRM is part of a world class science park, Edinburgh BioQuarter, and through our community engagement work we are doing all we can to ensure that the young people in our neighbourhood have a world class STEM education and opportunities."

Kate Carter, class teacher at Castleview Primary School and project lead for the Rolls Royce Science Prize said:

"We are all so proud, it is such a privilege. The award acknowledges with loud celebration that the UK STEM community share our belief that our young people deserve the same opportunities to develop science capital as others and that our innovative community approach is both pioneering and successful in achieving this."

The judges praised Castleview Primary School for their efforts to change preconceptions on who can be a scientist and for helping to raise positive ambitions by building relationships. They also highlighted the partnership approach and the involvement of parents. The project resulted in a 20% increase in students enjoying STEM and wanting to do STEM related roles, with parent’s perceptions of science positively increasing by 100%.

The Eden Award, selected by Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, recognises the most environmentally focused project. This award highlighted the school’s belief in their young people and in the development of sustainable communities, recognising the neighbouring connection and partnership with Edinburgh BioQuarter and The University of Edinburgh.

Watch the award ceremony in full (Eden Award announced: 1 hour; Rolls Royce Science Prize overall winners announced: 1 hour 11 minutes)