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Michael School Science Club helps choose top book prize winner 17 April 2008

CHILDREN from the Science Club at Michael Primary School will help to choose the winner of this year’s Royal Society Junior Prize for Science Books, one of the world’s most prestigious awards for science writing.

The winning book will be selected from a shortlist chosen with the help of Brainiac’s Jon Tickle and Newsround presenter Sonali Gudka.

The young people from Michael School will be among more than 1,000 children from schools and youth groups across the UK who will help choose a winning science book. As part of an innovative judging process the winner will be selected entirely by the young people themselves.

For the seventh year running, the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books has teamed up with Ecsite-uk, the UK network of science centres and museums, to run the judging process.

Each Junior Judging Panel, including Michael School Science Club, will choose a winner from six shortlisted books and submit their vote. The votes are then collated by Ecsite-uk and the book with the most votes will win the prize.

Keith Chambers, chairman of this year’s Junior Prize judges, who selected the shortlist, said: 'As a judging panel we wanted to choose books that would break down complex science in an enjoyable and novel way for young people. We looked to pick the books that were accessible and showed, not just the theory of science, but how it can be applied in everyday situations. Our job was difficult because of the high standard of entries but the six books we have chosen all encompass the wonders and excitement of science.'

The Royal Society Prizes for Science Books Junior Prize celebrate the very best in science writing for children and young adults and previous winners have included the Can you Feel the Force? by Richard Hammond (2007), the Eden Project’s book, The Global Garden, by Kate Petty, Jennie Maizels and Corina Fletcher (2006), What Makes Me, Me? by Robert Winston (2005) and Really Rotten Experiments by Nick Arnold and Tony De Saulles (2004). The prize is worth £10,000 to the winning author and £1,000 to the author of each shortlisted title.

The winner of the Royal Society Junior Prize for Science Books will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony which takes place at the Royal Society on 16 June 2008.

Michael School Science Club is a voluntary after-school club which meets every Monday evening and is run by the school’s Science Co-ordinator, Liz Boakes. In addition to being asked to judge the shortlisted books, the pupils are also busy preparing for an exciting, “Top Secret” science demonstration, which they hope to undertake later this term, and which involves custard powder; diet pop and mint sweets.

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