Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Prestigious Royal Society Award Winner


Aldenham teacher Dr David Paterson has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Schools Education Award.

Based in our own science department, Dr Paterson won the award for developing innovative and accessible ways of ensuring that chemistry in schools remains a rigorous practical subject.

After receiving the award, Dr Paterson said: “I was thrilled to hear of my award, and I am very grateful for the recognition. Many others have contributed to the work, not least my colleagues and the students at Aldenham School, and my mentors through the Royal Society of Chemistry CERG Teacher Researcher Fellowship. I am excited at the opportunity to share my ideas and resources more widely.”

Dr Paterson was born and raised in Winchester, Hampshire, attending King's School and Peter Symonds College. He completed his undergraduate Chemistry studies at the University of Exeter, and holds a PhD from the University of Oxford.

In recognition of his achievements, he also receives a £2,000 prize and a medal.

Dr Paterson’s work encourages and engages students with practical work by simplifying the process to make it easier for students to complete their work independently. By making practical work more meaningful and engaging for students, Dr Paterson aims to encourage more to continue their scientific studies beyond school and pursue STEM careers.

Dr Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said:

“We live in an era of tremendous global challenges, with the need for science recognised now more so than ever – so it is important to recognise those behind the scenes who are making significant contributions towards improving the world we live in. It is our honour and privilege to do that with these awards, which recognise exceptional scientific achievement.

“The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between. In recognising the work of Dr Paterson, we are also recognising the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

Of those to have won a Royal Society of Chemistry Award, an illustrious list of 50 have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including 2016 Nobel laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa.

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