Category Archives: competitions

Science Journalism Competition 2017

The world of popular/media science can be very hard to navigate, stories are often over-simplified, sensationalised and occasionally just plain wrong. And, with rising mistrust of experts it’s never been more important to make sure science has a strong, rational, engaging and, most importantly, truthful voice.

8097012078_8d753a97a7_mSo, we at the British Science Association want to set a challenge to AS/A-level students across Greater Manchester. We are inviting students to meet active researchers from the University of Manchester at our press conference on Tuesday the 7th of March 2017. During this day-long event students will get to hear about some of the exciting research happening right here in Manchester, they will then get the chance to network and interview these researchers before being challenged to write a short lay-science article on a topic of their choice.

One winner will receive a £50 Amazon voucher while two runner-up articles will receive £25 vouchers – winning entries will also be published online on a popular science blog!

Sign-up is now open to all schools in the Greater Manchester area, this is on a first come first serve basis up to a maximum of 60 students. Please note that we are only allowing 5 student submissions per-school and, due to the popularity of our 2016 competition, we expect to reach capacity quickly so please sigh-up soon to avoid disappointment.

You can sign your students up here:

Registration closes in January at which time each student will be sent an information booklet, this will contain: information on participating academic researchers, hints and tips on writing a lay-science article, a detailed plan for the press conference and example articles from our 2017 contest.

We look forward to signing you up and meeting you all in March!

Extra information – 2016 winning entries:

We extend a huge thank you to all teachers, students and mentors who took time to be involved in this contest. We received some amazing entries and judging was very hard but we are pleased to announce our winners:

Winning entry: Till Hancock – read this entry here

Runner-up: Hayley Martin – read this entry here

Runner-up: Maaham Saleem – read this entry here








BEST 2015 winners and commendations:

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s BEST competition. We thought you all did an excellent job and expect to see many of you making waves in the near future!

We would particularly like to congratulate our winners: Alanis, Beth, Daniel, and Matthew from Trafford College.

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With a special commendation for Caitlin, Malik, Mohamed from Loreto College for their exceptional performance.

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Here are a selection of pictures from our workshop and competition day.


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Competition day:

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BEST 2015

The BEST competition is a ‘Dragon’s Den’ Style Biotechnology business competition open to teams from colleges and sixth forms in Greater Manchester.

The teams have to think of a brand-new idea for a ‘mock’ biotechnology start-up business. The logo_small4idea only has to be theoretically possible, but it must be based on real-science. They then have to pitch their idea to our panel of leading scientists and entrepreneurs.

The winning team will be the one that impresses our judges the most, and convinces them that their idea is the one that could work.

The competition consists of two days spread a few weeks apart: The first part is our Biotechnology workshop which will help the teams put together their idea and their pitch. The second part is the competition day itself, where the teams will deliver their pitch.

Biotechnology Workshop…

To kick of the competition, all the teams will be invited to our Biotechnology workshop on the 20th March 2015 at the Manchester Museum.

They will hear from leading scientists and business people, who will share their experiences of how a scientific concept can become a business.

The teams will be able to discuss their ideas with our speakers, and maybe get a few hints and tips on how to put together a great idea and a great pitch.

Date: Friday 20th March 2015

Venue: Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd., M13 9PL

Time: 9.45-15.30

Competition Day…

The competition day is when the teams pitch their ideas to our panel of judges.

The teams will be given 15 minutes to deliver their pitch followed by 15 minutes of questions from our panel. Projector and laptop facilities will be available in the room. We also recommend emailing any presentations in advance so we can check they’ll be no technical issues on the day.

The competition day will take place in the council chamber of the Sackville St. Building at the University of Manchester. We’ll allocate your team a half-hour time-slot after you register. We ask that teams arrive at least twenty minutes before their time slot to ensure smooth running of the day.

Date: Tuesday 31st March 2015

Venue: Council Chamber, Sackville St. Building, The University of Manchester, M1 3BU

Time: Times allocated after registration deadline

To Enter…

Schools and colleges interested in entering teams must first register with us by the 24th January 2015.

To register click HERE, and complete the online form. We will need to know how many teams and how many participants you intend to put forward, and any dietary or other requirements the participants might have.

We’ll send you an application pack with more details about our Biotech workshop and final competition day.

Key Dates

Friday 6th February… Registration Deadline: Deadline to register teams from your college or 6th forms for the competition. Places are limited so register soon.

 Friday 20th March… Biotechnology Workshop: Find out more about how science becomes a business from leading scientists and entrepreneurs. 9.45-15.30, Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd., M13 9PL

 Tuesday 31st March… Competition Day: Time for the teams to pitch their idea to our panel. Council Chamber, Sackville St. Building, The University of Manchester, M1 3BU

Supported by: Duchy logo(1)

As part of: BSWlogo(1)