Lockdown Learner Challenge

Today we launch a competition for year 11 and year 13 learners to help motivate their learning during lockdown

The Learned Society of Wales, the national academy for arts and sciences, celebrates its tenth birthday this month.  To mark this, and to help support younger generations, we are a launching a competition to inspire curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, and to help students prepare for the next step of their studies.

We’re challenging year 11 and year 13 students in Wales to create an ‘explainer’ on a topic they will be studying in sixth form, college or university later this year.

There are several prizes available in both age categories; each entrant will also receive a certificate. The first prize in each category is £300; runners up will receive £150.

Explainers can cover just about anything, but here are some examples:

  • looking for solutions to the climate change crisis
  • uncovering more about the cultures, religions, histories and heritage of Wales
  • investigating quantum theory or another aspect of physics
  • learning about the experiences of different communities through literature, visual arts and music,
  • exploring the world in geography
  • analysing reliability and bias in journalism on important issues
  • understanding more about our world today through history

We want to see creative ideas and interpretations of topics, and an enthusiasm for developing knowledge in the chosen subject.

To help inspire ideas, we will also host a number of Lockdown Learner Webinars. These will include sessions on the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs Boson, and a masterclass on how parliaments work. Other events will follow in the next few weeks.

Our Fellows, who are leading experts from across all academic fields, will judge the competition entries.

Opening the competition, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of the Society said: “We want to encourage the interest and aspirations of learners. This competition aims to inspire them to develop their natural talents, to be inquisitive and creative, and have fun”

Education Minister Kirsty Williams MS added:  “This is a great initiative and I would encourage all of our year 11 and year 13 students to get involved.

“Throughout the lockdown we have been encouraging children and young people to stay safe and stay learning and this is a great way to prepare for the next steps in education while inspiring creativity and critical thinking.

“I would also like to congratulate and thank the Learned Society of Wales for the work done to help throughout the coronavirus crisis, from assisting with our Stay Safe. Stay Learning guidance to holding masterclass webinars, the work is much appreciated.”