The New Norwich Science Olympiad (EPSRC)

Project Details


From around 1980 for about twenty years a Science Olympiad was held at the University of East Anglia (UEA), in Norwich. It was a two day event which attracted thousands of school children from around the county to the UEA. For a number of reasons including changes at the University and increasing pressure in schools the event has not been organised for a number of years.

We feel the time is now right to restart and re-establish the Olympiad. There is currently a drive to encourage more youngsters to take science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects beyond the age of sixteen. Organisations such as AimHigher are busy trying to raise the aspirations of schoolchildren by getting them onto University campuses.

We have a new vision for the Olympiad: we would like to make it more inclusive rather than exclusive. Whereas in previous years schools have picked their best scientists to maximise the chance of success we aim to involve more of the class. Events over the two days will be targeted at ages 8-17.

The run-up to the Olympiad will start in early in the year (perhaps in Science Week) with the launch of the group rounds of an internet quiz: Top Class. This has been developed as a separate project which involves whole classes playing against one another against the clock. The final of the quiz would be part of the main event. By expanding participation every year we aim to be able to involve more than 10,000 schoolchildren by the final year.

There is already sufficient funding in place to run a scaled down version of the Olympiad in 2008. The present application will enable us to maintain the momentum and use the time to put funding on a sustainable footing.
Effective start/end date1/10/0830/09/11


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council: £161,661.00