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Schools competition

RWtH - Logo 2To take part in Rewrite the Headlines, you need to register your class/school. Registration is a very simple process, described below. Once you’re signed up, here’s an idea of what you get to do and a step by step guide of how your school can enter.

Schools Taking Part in Rewrite the Headlines

Participating involves your class taking part in a 45-60 minute workshop (you can read about our pilot workshop here). The workshop will either be run by one of our experts we’ll send to your school, or through video and other materials that will be made available to you.

The main goal of Rewrite the Headlines is to help your class to better understand how research is reported in the media. We encourage pupils not to stop at the headline, but to read beyond and be a researcher too! We show you how to investigate if the newspaper report is an accurate, truthful representation of the meaning intended behind the research, or not. We also provide some useful hints for you to judge if the science being reported is as solid as it should be. Using current examples from the media, we will help you explore some of the potential weak points as research makes its way from “lab to headline”.

  • EXAGGERATION: an example of how an editor might slap a sensationalist and inaccurate headline on top of a balanced, well-written article correctly reflecting the research.
  • LOST IN TRANSLATION: an example of inaccuracy that might occur after the research passes from the lab to various University and media Press Offices – any inaccuracy or lack of understanding on the science at this stage in the process gets directly passed onto the media for mass distribution.
  • BAD SCIENCE: an example of well-written coverage from the newspaper but the research itself is weak, poorly tested, or biased or badly designed.
  • BANG ON: an example of good research, good journalism, with a good headline – all adding up to make a good, informative story. Now it’s your turn…

Competition Entries

After the workshop, you and your class choose your own current news story, assess it and “rewrite the headline”. We would anticipate this might take a further 45 minutes of class time, at the discretion of the teacher. You might plan to discuss several ideas before choosing the one you want to submit, but again, each teacher can decide how best to undertake this.

When your class is ready, your chosen entry should be submitted by email with the word ‘HEADLINE’ in the subject line. Include the rewritten headline, with a paragraph (no more than 150 words) explaining why the class chose the story’s headline to rewrite, and why they think their new headline reflects the story and/or the research. Don’t forget to attach a copy of the original news article (by photograph or URL link).

All entries must be emailed to us by the closing date of 30 November 2015. If you’re not sure about your choice of news article, then do get in touch at any time.

For more detailed information, go to our Terms and Conditions.

The Prizes

All entries received by the closing date will be judged by our expert panel. The best entry will win the school’s choice of books or technology up to the value of £1000, generously sponsored by the University of Strathclyde. The teacher and class will also be invited to the awards ceremony in January 2016.

There will be two runner-up classes, who will win either Amazon vouchers or a Fire tablet. There will also be a prize for the best Life Sciences entry (that’s the “sciences concerned with the study of living organisms, including biology, botany, zoology, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, and related subjects”), and the best Physics entry. These extra prizes are generously sponsored by the School of Chemistry at the University of St. Andrews, the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Dundee School of Life Sciences, and the Particle Physics Experiment Research Group at the University of Edinburgh.

Keep checking our competition pages for more prize announcements!

Tips for Teachers and Parents

Check out our regular posts at Research the Headlines. Our blog has lots of useful articles commenting on ways to assess research coverage in the media. You might find our How to “Research the Headlines” series useful too. You can follow us on Twitter @ResTheHeadlines, and find us on Facebook. If you’re connecting via social media, don’t forget to use #RewriteTheHeadlines.

Register Now

Register your school by emailing the following details:

  • IMPORTANT: type the words SCHOOLS COMPETITION into the subject box of the email.
  • Include your contact details: school name/address, teacher’s name or main contact, and the email and telephone we can reach you at.
  • Include how many classes you are registering and the number of pupils in the class – a P5, P6, P7 or composite class, for example.
  • Tell us if your school prefers to run the workshop using our materials OR if you want us to send someone to your school to run the workshop for the class.
  • Include dates and times you could host our workshop during September to November; we’ll liaise directly to get the best time for you.
  • Once registered, we’ll be in touch soon to get you started.

Note:  We will try to send someone out to run a workshop for every school that registers. If demand is greater than supply in some regions, we may have to start a waiting list. So don’t delay, register now! We will also support any School who wants to run it themselves… no one need miss out on the fun!

Materials for workshops

Schools can run the Rewrite the Headlines workshops themselves using the video below.

Further PowerPoint slides to support running your workshop can be found here.

For more information on Rewrite The Headlines, go to our competition Terms and Conditions.