Students from Alcester Girls School with their poster

Stereotypes spotlighted by savvy school students

Teams of pupils from three schools in Warwick have been shining a spotlight on stereotyping as part of a new outreach project from the Department of Physics.  

The programme, called Project: SOS, paired up groups with physics researchers, who then mentored the students through creating an investigative report into an aspect of stereotyping that particularly resonated with them. As with any good research project, the teams then went on to present their work at the Project SOS celebration event last month, where the winning teams were announced.

Pupils and their parents came together at Kings High School on 3 November, and each of the 13 teams showcased their work through either a poster or oral presentation. Their work was judged on the night by Dr Kirsty Duffy, a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in the Department of Physics, who had the difficult task of separating out winners and runners-up across the wide variety of projects and presentations. The groups’ reports were also judged in advance by Dr Judith Hillier, an Associate Professor in science education with a particular interest in supporting women in physics.  

Project: SOS was a novel programme developed by the Physics Access Officer, Dr Kathryn Boast, to empower students to point out stereotyping when they see it. 'We know that school environment has a strong effect on whether students go on to study A level physics, and there is still so much stereotyping around what sorts of people can be physicists,' she said. 'If young people can spot this and call it out, then perhaps they can help us to build a fairer world.'

'The work produced by the students was really eye-opening,' adds Dr Sian Tedaldi, Outreach Programmes Manager for the Department of Physics. 'Giving them a free rein to choose their focus resulted in a wide variety of projects but above all, their passion for their chosen topic shone through. They should be very proud of their achievements.'

The winning and highly commended projects and presentations were as follows: 


  • First prize: Joel, Noah, Ollie and Thuwaaragan from Warwick School 
  • Second prize: Grace, Megan, Megan and Natassa from Kings High School 
  • Third prize: Blake, Jack, Jammy and Sean from Warwick School 
  • Highly commended: Bea, Elia, Ellie-Anne, Emma and Lola from Alcester Academy 
  • Highly commended: Georgia, Jasleen, Lexi, and Lizzie from Kings High School 


  • First prize: Abi, Amelia, Freija and Tilda from Alcester Academy 
  • Highly commended: James, Rory, Toby and Tommy from Warwick School 


  • First prize: Erin, Henrietta, Hiba and Jashany from Kings High School 
  • Highly commended: Bea, Elia, Ellie-Anne, Emma and Lola from Alcester Academy and Evie, Maisie, Qiqi, Sophie from Kings High School 

This project was made possible through the generous support of Claire Beecroft. 

Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of this amazing opportunity.
Participating student, Alcester Academy


It was an excellent project, so worthwhile. They all have such positive feedback from the experience and I have no doubt that the skills learnt will benefit them academically and personally.
Teacher, Warwick School