Winning is an exact science for Polwhele House pupil

A schoolboy from Truro has been awarded the top prize in a prestigious science competition during a ceremony in London

William Orwin, a year three pupil at Polwhele House in Truro, has been awarded first prize in the junior category of the 2015 Bill Bryson Prize for Science Communication.

The Bill Bryson Prize is a creative science communication competition and is open to students around the world from ages five to 18.

The awards are organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and are judged by an esteemed panel including Bill Bryson, Robert Parker (CEO of the Royal Society of Chemistry), Gill Reid (Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southampton), Paul MacLellan (Deputy Editor of Education in Chemistry) and Ben Valsler (Digital Editor of Chemistry World).

For his entry, William created his own episode of ‘science news’ – a news bulletin written, directed and starring himself, which outlined some of history’s most important scientific discoveries made by chance. 

Russell Main, head of Science at Polwhele House, is delighted with William’s success in these international awards: ‘It is fantastic to see our pupils garner such a passion for science, and the time, effort, and detail put into William’s entry shows his love of the subject. For William to be recognized by such eminent professionals at this stage is wonderful, and I hope it will inspire him to achieve more success in the future. Having had two runners up entries in the past three years, it is pleasing to go one step further this year which, I believe, demonstrates the strength and depth of science at Polwhele House.’

William attended a special prize-giving ceremony at Burlington House, London where Bill and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s President Dominic Tildesley presented him with his prizes.

Bill Bryson said of the awards: ‘It’s a very exciting initiative and I think it’s a wonderful way of allowing kids to express themselves in imaginative and creative ways, in ways the national curriculum doesn’t always allow them to do. There were loads and loads of entries and I think it’s safe to say that this was the highest level of quality that we’ve had in all ten years – it does seem to get better and better and the kids just get more and more imaginative and clever and entertaining and enthusiastic each year.’

Carrie Boyce, Outreach Executive at the Royal Society of Chemistry, commented on William’s outstanding entry: ‘This year we received over 500 entries to the competition, over three categories ages five to 11, 12-14 and 15-18. William’s really stood out to us as he included such a lot of detailed accurate content, alongside great storytelling and humour. Not only that, he created the entire piece by himself and starred as all the roles! He should be very proud of himself for receiving the top prize in what was a very high standard of competition.’

Alex McCullough, Headmaster at Polwhele House said: ‘We always encourage our pupils to follow their passions at Polwhele House and are glad to support them in all areas of interest, inside and outside of the curriculum. We are delighted with William’s success and hope he enjoys his well-deserved prizes.’

William’s prize consists of £400 and a copy of Bill Bryson’s book ‘A Really Short History of Nearly Everything’.    


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