The Science of Life: How your body works 2016 - the winners!

We're delighted to announce the winners of The Science of Life: How your body works 2016 competition! Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre nearly swept the board, winning Gold and Silver Awards respectively. To enter, students had to be 16-19 years-old and run their own 30-hour physiology research project, which they had to present as a poster to judges in London on 13 July 2016.The Science of Life 2016 - winners and chief judge

Gold prize went to Team Brainiacs (a team of four including Farahat Ahmed, Mariam Raashid, Nadia Lamaina and Mamataz Ahmed) for their project on whether altering people's perception of the effort they put into exercise affects fatigue levels; while Silver prize went to the Curious Scientists, Hafsa Khatun and Vithu Kugarajah, for their work on whether cooling and reheating starch-­rich foods lower peak blood glucose levels. The judges were hugely impressed by both teams: their projects were well-designed and produced useful physiological results that were applicable to public health. Team Brainiacs in particular explored a range of physiological and psychological responses, displaying excellent background knowledge.

During their projects, the students were encouraged to work with a physiologist, who would guide them through the theory and/or technical elements. These 'Mentors' play a crucial role in the competition, linking students with universities and introducing them to how scientific research works in practice, which can make all the difference - as it did with the Gold and Silver Award winners, who were mentored by Stephen Price (UCL) and Irene Di Giulio (UCL) respectively.

Also impressive was an entry from Lorenzo van Breda (Ibstock Place School, Roehampton), who won Bronze Award for his project on the effects of caffeine on recovery after exercise. Working alone with only guidance from his Mentor, Hannah Moir (Kingston University), he impressed the judges with his delivery and the high quality of his research, which he conducted within a university setting.

All winners received medals and certificates in recognition of their achievement, as well as individual prizes linked to their Award. The Gold winners, for example, won a 'Train Like a Champion' Day at an English Institute of Sport High Performance Centre. More details on all the prizes are available here.

Congratulations to all the winners and a huge thank you to everyone who took part, including special thanks to all the students' teachers and Mentors, as well as the judges: Valerie Gladwell (University of Essex), Philip Aaronson (KCL), Julia Attias (KCL), Richard Burden (English Institute of Sport), Philip Carvil (KCL), Phoebe Kitscha (KCL), Clare Ray (University of Birmingham) and Rachel Tribe (KCL).