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Life Sciences Challenge

This is a quiz designed and delivered by PhD students and early career researchers (Post Doctoral Researchers and Junior Fellows) at Cardiff University. These are individuals who are passionate about science, and have chosen to dedicate their lives to scientific research. They want to share this enthusiasm for trying to understand the natural world with pupils in Wales, through the ‘Life Sciences Challenge’, an inter-school competition for Yr 10 pupils. We hope that by giving pupils the opportunity to meet young scientists working locally, we will inspire them to consider the possibilities of scientific careers.

Scope of the Quiz

Some of the questions will follow the National Curriculum, but others may require knowledge gained from further reading/investigation. Importantly, some questions will test pupils’ ability to analyse data and apply logic and learned knowledge to unfamiliar concepts. Questions will be largely Biology and Chemistry based, but could involve aspects of Physics and Geology where these pertain to understanding the living world. Scientists will set questions with backgrounds ranging from ‘Psychological Medicine’ to ‘Earth and Ocean Science’ so the range of question material will reflect their expertise. We expect the pupils should find the questions challenging but also fun. An indication of the nature and level of standard of the quiz can be gained by watching video footage of last year’s ‘Life Science Challenge’ quiz finals (below).

Practical Considerations

Teams should consist of 4 pupils with an interest in science. Teams will compete in a head-to-head knockout format in the manner of quiz shows such as ‘A Question of Sport’, ‘University Challenge’ and ‘Only Connect’. Some questions will be individual and some will be team questions. We will hold an online preliminary rounds for all schools wishing to enter the quiz during the week commencing 8th February 2016. The top 8 English speaking and 8 Welsh speaking school teams will be selected. Quarter-finals will take place on 22nd June 2016, semi-finals on 6th July and finals 16th September 2016. Our students will come out to schools for the initial rounds and the final will be held at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University. There will be picture rounds, so within the hosting school there will need to be facilities for Powerpoint Projection and the teams will need to be seated so they can clearly see the projection. There will also be questions that require a limited amount of writing or written problem solving, so teams should be sat behind desks or tables and provided with pen and paper.

For further information regarding the quiz please contact Ms Karen Edwards , Project Support Officer, Cardiff University School of Medicine.