Poppy presents…15th Birthday Celebrations!

Here at science made simple, we love sharing our passion for science, and helping others who wish to do the same! This blog post is written by the recent winner of out secondary category video competition, Poppy Oxberry.

science made simple 15th birthday competition

You never know where a tweet can take you!

I’m Poppy and I’ve been making my own science videos for the last 18 months on my Poppy Presents YouTube channel.

When I got the tweet about the science made simple 15th Birthday competition to create a video explaining something in STEM in under 60 seconds, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give myself a challenge and explore some more science.

My first thought was to try Newton’s Laws of Motion. I found some great experiments I could use but after practising a few times, they were all too long. I was looking around the house for more ideas and inspiration when I found a big bit of polystyrene and thought it would be fun to see what I could do with that.

I looked online as it’s where I get a lot of my experiment ideas from, and found that you can dissolve polystyrene in nail varnish. I like to make videos with stuff that you can easily get hold of so decided to make this the subject of my video. With help from my dad I managed to get the video down to 60 seconds. This was a challenge but a great way of showcasing that STEM subjects can be explained in under a minute. I was really happy with how my video looked but I wasn’t confident as I was entering the 12-18 year old category, and I’m only just 12 years old.


I couldn’t believe it when my dad got the call from science made simple to say I had been shortlisted! As part of the competition, the finalists were invited to Cardiff to join their 15th birthday party where they would be announcing the winners. I live in the North East of England so had never been to Cardiff before because it’s a 6 hour drive!

The party took place at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, which is the National Assembly for Wales. It was a really cool place to hold the event and it added an extra special element to the birthday party. There were a range of stalls with different people from different STEM backgrounds, including a chilli stall!

The party started with some speeches and congratulations before the science made simple team stepped up to showcase 5 of their favourite experiments. We then had a lovely buffet before it was time to announce the competition winners. They showed all the shortlisted videos for each category which was really nice to see as everyone had put in a lot of effort. Each video was different and they were all really good. The two little girls who won the Primary category were super cute and their Acidtastic video was excellent.

Then it was time for my category. All the videos were really good and I was very nervous but I was shocked when they read out my name as the winner! Even after I was shortlisted I never dreamt I would win! It felt amazing to get up on stage and receive my certificate and prize. I was really proud that my video was voted the best.

After the open competition winner was announced we got our photos taken and it was lovely to get to chat to some of the other finalists. Then it was time to say our goodbyes before jumping back in the car for the long drive home.

This was such an amazing experience and I’m so glad I entered the competition – it’s given me loads of ideas for new experiments I can try over the summer holidays.


sms group shot with props smallWe are science made simple, a social enterprise who perform science, maths and engineering shows to schools, festivals and public audiences.

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