2023-24 Aristotelian Award

Aristotelian Award winners Abi Griffiths (Caterham School, left) and Matthew Soh (The Perse School)

Two talented young researchers have been named as the winners of this year’s Perse Aristotelian Award.

The arts/humanities section was won by Caterham School pupil Abi Griffiths, who researched the ancient art of rhetoric and why it is still relevant today. Highly commended were Maisie Ho (Gordon’s School), Florence Turner (Ipswich School), Sachin Prakash (St Olave’s Grammar School) and Gary Zhang (The Perse School).

Abi said “As soon as I saw this competition, I knew I wanted to enter. I really enjoy researching interesting topics and finding out new things, and I’m fascinated by the Greco-Roman myths and ways of life, so I found it fun to explore an aspect that I’d never learnt about before.

“I was absolutely amazed when I found out I won. I’d never imagined that my essay would be chosen out of so many other brilliant entries and I’m honoured that it was.”

Perse pupil Matthew Soh won the sciences category with his investigation into whether businesses that don’t use AI in the workplace will fall dramatically behind those that do. Seth Wilcock (Broughton High School), Amelie Rahman (Alleyn’s), Charlotte Evans (Royal Grammar School, Newcastle) and Roshini Natarajan (The Perse) were highly commended.

Matthew said: “As an aspiring programmer, I have always been interested in the impact AI will have on the world and my learning. Projections indicate that 64% of my generation, Generation Alpha, will work in jobs yet to be discovered.

“Recently, the CEO of Nvidia (Jensen Huang) suggested that children should not learn coding as AI advances, sparking discussions within my family regarding potential implications for my future as a coder.

“I feel extremely pleased to have won an award, having spent much time researching and writing my essay. I learned a lot of surprising details about AI, such as the large carbon footprint it takes to train each AI model.”

More than 130 Year 9 pupils from across the UK entered the research essay competition, with Old Perseans and former research prefects Shaaon Bhattacharya and Hongli Hu (both 2023) deciding on the winning entries.

Perse Head of Research Hazel Knight said: “Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Aristotelian Award and well done to all those who took part. Once again we were hugely impressed with the standard of the essays, many of which referenced a pleasing variety of relevant sources and included thoughtful critical discussion. This made the judging a very challenging process.

“Above all, we are delighted to see so many students from across the country demonstrating their commitment to intellectual curiosity and their interest in research by participating – the number of submissions continues to grow, year on year.”

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