What Maxwell did for Us!



James Clerk Maxwell was born in Edinburgh 175 years ago, and was one of the greatest scientists who have ever lived. To him we owe the most significant discovery of our age - the theory of electromagnetism. He is rightly acclaimed as the father of modern physics and also made fundamental contributions to mathematics, astronomy and engineering. Although not as widely known by the public as Newton or Einstein, his discoveries have helped shape the modern world. 


If you are interested in taking part in the next Maxwell challenge please contact the Digital Learning Foundation. 


The 2006 Challenge :


The challenge to be carried out by groups of four or five S1/S2students. They should take the theme - "What James Clerk Maxwell has done for us!" and create a promotional presentation that could be used to increase awareness of the impact that Maxwell has had on our modern world. This could take the form of an essay, a poster, a slideshow, an animation, a cartoon strip, a song, a movie, a podcast.. as long as it is in a shareable digital format - the more inventive and appropriate the better!

A record of the research, decision and design process that is gone through should be submitted - a list of sources, mind maps, story boards, or whatever was used to arrive at their solution. A concept statement is also required.

Group photos with permission for use should be supplied if possible.

 The entire project should be completed in two or three days and must be students own work. Three entries can be made per school and it is up to each school to decide how they select their entries..


The Prizes : 

1st Prize :School: A day of Maxwell's Rainbow 3D Shows, £100 Amazon Vouchers + DLF Membership. Each team member will also receive an iPod Shuffle and a £25 Amazon Voucher.

2nd Prize : School: Maxwell's Rainbow 3D Show, £50 Amazon Vouchers + DLF Membership. Each team member will also receive an iPod Shuffle and a £20 Amazon Voucher.

3rd Prize : School: Maxwell's Rainbow 3D Show, £25 Amazon Vouchers + DLF Membership. Each team member will also receive a £15 Amazon Voucher.

A further 17 Scottish schools, who take part, will also be offered a free day of Maxwell's Rainbow 3D Shows in their school.


"Maxwell's Rainbow 3D Traveling Show"

As part of the James Clerk Maxwell year celebrations, we have been commissioned by the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation to produce an inspirational  3D show that introduces the work of Maxwell to both a general audience and S1/S2 students. The show focuses on his work on the electromagnetic spectrum and aims to take the participants on the journey of discovery that lead to Maxwell's theory that unified Magnetism, Electricity and Light. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and 30 events will be held all over Scotland, this competition is to select the 20 Scottish schools that will receive a free day of "Maxwell's Rainbow" 3D shows at their school. Being piloted in November, shows will be available from Dec. Music is by PJ Moore. The show uses the same passive stereo 3D technology that has been used to great effect in our "Space- the Solar System and Beyond" Traveling shows.


In addition, the top three schools chosen by the judges, will also receive a sum of Amazon Vouchers and a years free membership of the Digital Learning Foundation. Schools outwith Scotland are welcome to take part, but should they win a prize, the 3D show may be substituted by an alternative prize at the discretion of the judges, whose decision is final. 

Each member of the top three teams will also win individual prizes as listed above.


We would like to thank the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Careers Scotland and P.J. Moore for their help and support for this project.

Below are the winning entries.  

1st Prize : Boclair Academy, Bearsden, Glasgow.




2nd Prize : Tarbert Academy, Argyle & Bute 


3rd Prize :  Lockerbie Academy, Dumfries & Galloway.


The team from Lockerbie Academy submitted a website. 

Special Mentions :


Largs Academy, Largs. North Ayrshire : movie 


Whitburn Academy, West Lothian : movie 


Smithycroft Secondary, Glasgow : Powerpoint

The team from Smithycroft submitted a PowerPoint presentation.