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Trio joy at scooping top physics award

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

Will Stepehens, Katherine Slatcher-Greenwood and James Knighton from John Taylor School

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Three youngsters are celebrating after scooping top awards at the physics equivalent of the Olympic Games.

The budding scientists from John Taylor High School, in Barton under Needwood, took part in the British Physics Olympiad, an event organised by Oxford University.

Samuel Crawford walked away with a gold award, Thomas Hodson a bronze and Hannah Whitham was commended for her efforts.

Brian Mills, head of physics at John Taylor, told the Mail: “We recently entered three of our Year 13 students into the event, which is the flagship competition, run by the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) and administered by Oxford University.

“The BPhO has run for 25 years and is entered annually by more than 1,600 talented young physicists.

“The examination-based competition has a dual purpose; to challenge and reward the best physicists in British schools and to select the UK physics team for competition at international level.

“This year, more than 1,900 of the very best physicists in the country entered the competition.

“The paper was designed to stretch and challenge the top young physicists and results showed just how challenging the paper was, with 1,150 students getting 27.5 per cent or less, and these are the very best in the country.

“It was a fantastic achievement by all three students just to be chosen to participate in the BPhO.

“They also all put in a lot of time and effort in preparing for the papers and even taught themselves part of the course that had not been covered in lessons yet, in order to improve their chances of success.

“Sam Crawford deserves a particular mention, as receiving a gold award was an outstanding achievement and put him in the top 150.

“This meant he just missed out on the top 50, who went on to round two, which included a few days of lectures and testing in the grounds of Oxford University.”

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