Young Science Writers award ceremony (British Science Festival 2013)

The Young Science Writing Competition centred around the theme of DNA was hosted by the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University as part of the British Science Festival 2013.  We received hundreds of excellent entries ranging in style from science fiction to scientific journalism in three age categories from schools across the Tyne and Wear area. The judging panel comprised of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2003 William Fiennes, writer in Residence at Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books Dr Helen Limon, a world leading scientist in the field of genetic muscle diseases Prof Kate Bushby and Dr Stephen Laval, a molecular geneticist working in the field of neuromuscular diseases at the Institute of Genetic Medicine.

The competing entries were of a very high standard and judging was extremely difficult. Three winners, one runner up and three highly commended entries were selected and will be displayed in the foyer of the Biomedicine West Wing at the Centre for Life during the Festival.A brochure containing the winning entries will be available at the display during the Festival.

The unveiling of the entries and the award ceremony took place on Saturday 7th of September in the Biomedicine West Wing at 2pm. After the ceremony the winners and their guests had a chance to look behind the scenes of the Centre for Life and find out a bit more about the research done here at the Institute of Genetic Medicine.

The Public Engagement Committee at the IGM would like to thank all the participants for the interest and for their excellent entries. We would also like to thank Cathy Turner from the committee here at the IGM and Helen Limon from the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts for organising and coordinating this exciting competition.

The entries were judged in three age categories. We present the winning entries below:

Key Stage 3  – age 11-14

Winner: Leiane Reay (Heworth Grange) Cloning Sheep

Runner Up: Joseph Parkinson (Thornhill School) The Monster Inside

Highly Commended: Talya Kurt (Heworth Grange) My Sister Daisy

Highly Commended: Bethan McConnell (Heworth Grange) Time Bomb

Key Stage 4 – age 14-16

Highly Commended: Leah Coxon (Heaton Manor School) One Good Can Make Hundreds of Bad

Key Stage 5 – age 16-18

Joint Winner: Chris Blyth (Whitley Bay High School) Science Faction

Joint Winner: Ellen Blakey (Whitley Bay High School) The Terrorist Within

Thank you to everyone who participated in the competition, your entries were very inspiring. It was a pleasure to read them all and the decision was very difficult. Our congratulations to the winners, we hope we inspired you to think about science and DNA in a different light. Until next time!

‘Thank you for the invitation to the event today. Both me and my party thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the labs, and I hope to enter the competition again if it runs next year. Many thanks..’ one of the participants