Heroes of the lab, and the shopping centre

SEVEN schools which have challenged the notion of "nerdy" science have been honoured as "heroes of Science Year".

The Government-backed drive to promote science has been extended to July 2003 and rebranded as Planet Science.

At its launch this week, the excellent work done by schools, Bury education authority and the Science Museum was acknowledged.

The activities praised ranged from after-school science clubs to inviting inspirational scientists and engineers into schools to speak to pupils.

At Ivybridge community school, near Plymouth, Devon, pupils took science to the shopping centre. Groups of teenagers set up stalls and carried out experiments in front of the public. In one, pupils had to explain to shoppers why raisins floated up and down in a glass of lemonade.

The sports college, which has 2,100 pupils, also held evenings where pupils mentored parents on their children's GCSE studies.

A pack, covering the work of all the award winners, will be sent out to all schools. The others featured are Newfield school, Sheffield; Lutterworth grammar school, Leicestershire; Heathfield community college, East Sussex; Hurst community school, Hampshire and John Kelly girls' technology school, Barnet, London.

For more information visit www.planet-science.com

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