Earlier this school year, a small group of year 7 and 8 students formed a judging panel for the Royal Society Young Person Book Prize. This involved them reading the six shortlisted books, rating them across a range of criteria, and then coming to a consensus regarding their choice of overall winner, which we then submitted to the Royal Society. The six shortlisted books were:
There was a great deal of lively debate regarding the merits, or otherwise, of these titles but, in the end, Women in Science was the unanimous winner.
Rene (y8) thought the book ‘engaging because of its illustrations and fun facts’ and was fascinated to learn about ‘the injustices the women had to face’, which also made her ‘think about what it must have been like to be that person’. In addition, ‘each woman had a different story to tell about their discoveries, a lot of which [she] didn’t know and it gave [her] a better appreciation of the role women have played in modern science, such as curing diseases’.
Eliza (y8) found the book ‘easy to read’ and with ‘a good layout’. She ‘learnt many facts such as that Ada Lovelace helped to create the first automatic computing engine, known as the Babbage Engine’
Finally, Harmony (y7) spoke of the book being ‘beautifully illustrated and packed with lots of information’. She learned a great deal ‘about the female contribution to the scientific world… women have been involved in curing Leprosy, Polio, studying the brain and mathematics’. She put the book’s impact on her perfectly when she said ‘I never knew about half of these women, I only really knew about Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Isaac Newton... I am so glad I got my hands on this book’.
Over 300 schools across the whole took part in the voting and this week The Royal Society announced the overall winner to be Optical Illusions by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber.
Women in Science is available in the school library, as is the equally wonderful Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science by Patricia Fara.
Finally, a big THANK YOU to Eliza (y8), Harmony (y7), Isla (y7), Josephine (y7), Rene (y8), and Uliana (y8).