8th September 2000 at 01:00
Cabaret Mechanical Theatre is inviting schoolchildren aged seven to 16 to demonstrate their mastery of gears and levers by designing and building a mechanically-controlled automaton. Previous entries can be viewed on A further option this year is to link designs to the theme of Devious Devices (automata inspired by 20th-century objects such as skyscrapers, space rockets and toothbrushes). The competition aims to give outside accreditation to pupils' work and the chance to showcase it. Regional finals in springearly summer; national final in July.

This year's winning entries are on display alongside Devious Devices (see creating SPARKS below) at the Royal College of Art, 10 Princes' Gardens, London SW7 until September 19. Stephen Guy, telfax 020 7791 1153 Four British students won medals at this year's International Biology Olympiad held in Turkey in July. Rupert Griffiths from Winchester College received a silver medal and bronze medals went to Zillah Boraston, Kendrick School, Reading; Tomas Welsh, The Royal Grammar School, Guildford; and Christopher Wilson, Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs. The competitors - all winners of te British Biology Olympiad - completed a theoretical paper and a series of experiments. For next year's Olympiad details, contact The Institute of Biology, tel: 020 7581 8333, Nominations are invited for the Institute of Physics Teachers Awards 2001. The Institute seeks to celebrate teachers who have raised the status of science in their primary schools, or physics in their secondary schools, by teaching their subject in an inspiring way and by encouraging and supporting their colleagues in doing likewise. The Education Department, The Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT. Closing date November 28.

Can your students explain some aspect of physics (pure or applied) to a non-scientist? In five minutes? And using only items which could be found in the average home? The Institute of Physics Paperclip Physics Competition 200001 challenge is open to Year 12S5 and Irish Transition Yearfirst year Leaving Certificate students from schools and colleges throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Details and entry form from Leila Solomon, The Education Department, The Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT.

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