2022 IOP Technician Award: Dr Kenneth Hargreaves

Secondary schools

Dr Kenneth Hargreaves for providing total support, not only setting up and performing complicated experiments, but also sending balloons into space, taking students to Houston and setting up a school weather station.

Award Winner Ken Hargreaves

During his time at Lockerbie Academy, Dr Kenneth Hargreaves has used his previous knowledge to ensure all Science lessons have exciting and dynamic practicals. He researches experimental methods and procedures, shows these to staff, and will often demonstrate these in classes, being an effective communicator in small groups.

Hargreaves actively works hard to support students at Advanced Higher in all three disciplines, working with them on novel experiments and testing them out before students waste their time on experiments that will not work. 

He also takes a keen interest in providing exciting experiences in extracurricular activities. This has included playing a major role in getting the school to launch a high altitude balloon, which reached the edge of space and was collected from a leg-grabbing crop of oilseed rape.

He eloquently delivered a road safety presentation to a judging panel, thus gaining the school a European award for the best Road Safety Project in 2016. He took students from across the region on trips to Space School in Houston, Texas, in both 2016 and 2018, and was the main driver for the funding and health and safety for the trips.

In 2021, he set up a weather station that had been sitting in a cupboard for years, and is now feeding data to the Met Office site. This data is being used in Geography and Science classes, even allowing the detection of the pressure wave from the eruption of Tonga's Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano, calculating a speed of sound of 303 metres per second.

Hargreaves is about to start up a group working on Mars rovers, a project with the University of Edinburgh and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. He supports staff, teachers and students and is vital to the success of STEM at Lockerbie Academy.