In January 2020, £500 was awarded to St Patricks School in Armagh for a science competition. Students from across year 8 to year 12 were incentivised to use a learning platform called Century Tech, which aims to boost student attainment by 30%.
The Century learning platform uses Artificial Intelligence to personalise the students’ learning in science. In the same way that Amazon and Spotify learn about you, Century learns how each pupil’s brain works to suggest mini-lessons that will work to support or stretch them in science. We used the sponsorship to reward those boys who spent longest on the platform each week, month and term.
An overall winner was given an ipad. Being able to give this ‘high value’ prize was really beneficial, allowing students who would otherwise disengage the excuse to take part. Smaller prizes were given out to 25 students every week, amounting to 200 students by the end of the competition in March 2020, all made possible through the sponsorship funding.
The main benefit of the competition was boys who normally would be completely disengaged put in sustained effort over a period of months, with many of the winners ending up being boys who haven’t excelled at school before. One student in particular changed their course choice to Double Award Science off the back of the competition.