Girl power wins out in biology contest

Kiera Hurry, Sally Stott, Alice Ashworth and Mary Hodgson with their prize.
Kiera Hurry, Sally Stott, Alice Ashworth and Mary Hodgson with their prize.

Sixth form pupils from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School have triumphed over seventeen other north west schools to be crowned the winners of a biology competition run by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Society of Biology.

The four A-Level biology pupils – Kiera Hurry, Sally Stott, Alice Ashworth and Mary Hodgson – fought off competition from other schools after completing 10 tasks in areas such as chemical messages, the forensics of fossils and cell sketching.

The winning team were handed a new microscope for their school as well as a book each.

Kiera Hurry, 16, said: “We’ve learned a lot today and had fun at the same time.

“We particularly enjoyed it because most of the sessions were hands-on and show how biology is applied in the real world.”

Now in its tenth year, the event is run by UCLan and the Society of Biology to bring together sixth form students thinking about biology in higher education.

Schools and colleges from Lancashire, Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria all took part in the day’s activities.

David Urry, the regional coordinator for the Society of Biology, said: “The Society of Biology, and the world of biology, needs people with the skills that were demonstrated by the pupils today, and events like this are important in opening up student’s eyes to the application of Biology beyond the classroom”.

“I was impressed by the way all the students went about working through the numerous and varied challenging questions that often had me stumped.

“Biology at its heart is all about careful observation, reasoning, asking lots of questions, but also about using your imagination.”

Dr Leroy Shervington from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at UCLan said: “Congratulations to the pupils from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School.

“Once again, it was a delight to witness enthusiastic, committed and organised school and college teams coming together from various areas of the region to compete in a friendly, cooperative and constructive manner, even under what was a relatively hot and humid summer day.”