Top Prize for Fourth Form Pupil Ella | King's College Taunton

Top Prize for Fourth Form Pupil Ella

MiSAC Annual Competition ‘How Microbes Help Farming’

Good luck to @King's College Taunton pupil Nyah, who is out in #Hungary training with the @England Water Polo Squad… https://t.co/rjqpngJZd7 - 6 hours ago

Fourth Form pupil Ella Dai has just scooped the joint top prize in the Key Stage 4, Secondary 3/4 Group in the MiSAC Annual Competition ‘How Microbes Help Farming’.

Sponsored by the National Farmers Union, the annual competition attracted 232 entries across different Key Stages (154 KS3, S1/2 and 78 KS4, S3/4).

Encouraged by our science department, a number of pupils took part, designing a poster aimed at providing teenagers with a better understanding of the ways in which microbes are of benefit to agriculture.

Consideration had to be given to the processes that are associated with three areas:

  • Soil fertility and plant health & growth: e.g. nitrogen cycle, mycorrhiza, biological control of pests.
  • Animal health and growth: e.g. vaccination, antibiotics, digestion in the rumen, silage making.
  • Waste management: e.g. composting, anaerobic digestion (biogas), muck spreading, deep litter system.

Pupils also needed to think about the immediate and visual impact of their artwork: using small amounts of text in short clear sentences that a teenager would easily understand; using font sizes that could be read a metre away; and to avoid using too many colours and combinations which would make reading difficult. The posters could be A3 in size, and could either be designed using computer software, or by hand.

Judging was based on the scientific content of the posters as well as their clarity and design. Pupils were expected to include photographs, drawings, data and sources of further information, and originality, presentation and effectiveness in communicating with the intended audience would also be taken into account.

Commenting on Ella’s success, Head of Science, Dr Rebecca Stone said:

“The 2019 competition celebrates 50 years of the MiSAC – the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee, an organisation who promotes the teaching of microbiology in schools and colleges. Each year, the topic chosen for the competition in the UK is linked to the National Curriculum. Special sponsorship provides money prizes totalling £1,000 for students and their schools.

Ella’s entry was titled ‘How Microbes Help Farming’ and she produced an informed, detailed and eye-catching summary using beneficial and effective micro-organisms in livestock farming, biological control of pests and silage production. We are very proud of Ella and thank you to her teacher, Imogen Pardoe, for providing encouragement and inspiration.”


Published on: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

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