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Ogden Trust Partnership

It all began when The Vale Academy Trust put forward an exciting proposal to the Ogden Trust for a Science Partnership involving 2,200 pupils across 9 schools in the area. The aim of the Ogden Trust is to ensure that everyone has access to a good quality, inspiring physics education and that no-one feels excluded from taking physics further.

Cat Boaz, the Trust's STEM specialist teacher who leads the initiative, explains "It isn't enough for children to just enjoy science for them to engage in STEM careers - they need to see themselves as scientists.  The more children experience the breadth of science through high-quality learning experiences, the more likely they are to recognise themselves as scientists."

Since then, armed with four years of funding, training and resources, a range of activities to promote STEM learning have taken place. These include science fairs and science weeks held in primary schools. These are followed by a Grand Final competition (hosted by our partners STFC and UK R&I in 2022 and 2023) and Williams Engineering in 2024 when the best science experiments are presented by teams from each school. 

The primary pupils' science exhibits are assessed by judges provided by our hosts, giving children an important opportunity to share their learning with 'real' scientists and engineers.

Students from the Vale Academy Trust's secondary schools, Larkmead and King Alfred's, are also involved, attending on the day of the grand final to support primary pupils with their science presentations and also to offer other 'hands on' science opportunities. 

Funding from the Ogden Trust has also enabled the creation of a 'Phizz Lab' at Millbrook School in Grove - a purpose-designed science lab where primary pupils can immerse themselves in a wealth of science experiences.