11.07.17 Science Technician of the Year prize winners announced.

The overall winner of this year's Gratnells Science Technician of the Year award is Gill James of Christ the King Catholic Voluntary Academy in Arnold, near Nottingham.

Second place went to Paul Cook from Ark Burlington Danes Academy, White City, London while third place was awarded to Richard Lane from Wellington School, Altrincham, Cheshire.

The winner of the International Science Technician of the Year is Elizabeth Gonzalez from Bayside Comprehenside School in Gibraltar.



Working as part of a close-knit team of science technicians and teachers, Gill has been an example of the school’s commitment to excellence throughout the range of STEM subjects, developing student interest along with her meticulous preparation and management of practical science lessons.

In addition to her regular duties, she is involved with a range of related projects that mentor, encourage and inspire students such as a project with Nottingham Trent University and  the development of the Aspiring STEM Leaders Programme working with STEM Ambassadors, a range of STEM organisations and the University of Nottingham.  From involvement with a Brownie group, helping them develop their first interest in science, to organising opportunities for students to work as science demonstrators at ‘Science in the Park’ near Nottingham, Gill James is a tireless advocate for the study of STEM subjects.

Sarah Lissendon Crook, Deputy Head of Science at Christ the King Catholic Voluntary Academy, says that Gill is the consummate professional with a level of personal commitment to both teachers and students which makes her special.

“Her preparations are absolutely immaculate. They help even the most inexperienced teachers to relax and enjoy practical work and this, in turn, transmits itself to the students. She guided us through the opening rounds of the Rolls Royce Science Prize contest virtually single-handed, writing the submission and meeting the deadlines.”



Headmaster Carlo Cuomo endorses the comments from the science department and says that it’s high time science technicians came out from the wings and into the limelight of science education in the UK.

“When you consider the changes in the teaching and support services environment that technicians have adapted to over recent times – just as an example where previously we were mandated to provide just one required practical year, it’s now 18 across 3 sciences over 2 years and 12 each for ‘A’ level subjects – their role has increased in importance and complexity.

Gill is not only a master of organisation and preparation, she’s our leading authority on health and safety, on storage of materials and a dab hand at procurement too. As she will tell you, the whole team including Adam Blazewicz-Bell, Sarah Lissendon-Crook, Joe Mellor and Stacey Wheeler is outstanding, but that does not diminish her star quality. She thoroughly deserves the title of Gratnells Science Technician of the Year 2016/17 and we are delighted for her.”

Gill, Paul, Richard and Elizabeth were presented with their awards by Dr Katherine Forsey at a ceremony held at the National STEM Learning Centre on York University Campus last week.

You can see Dr Forsey's slide presentation here

Next Year's Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Competition is now open for entries - you can find out more information here.







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