Page last updated at 18:10 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

How exams can stink - literally

School Reporters from Birley Community College
The smelly pens will be trialled by Year 11s when they sit their GCSEs

A group of reporters from Sheffield has been investigating just how exams can stink.

For their School Report News Day, pupils at Birley Community College reported on a new invention devised by some Year Nine students.

The group won a bronze technology award through the Crest scheme, which is run by the British Science Association.

Their entry was a pen which emits smells when pupils are revising and then again when they are sitting their exams. The idea is that the odours stimulate memories of the work they have done.

Some Year 11s have volunteered to trial the pens during their GCSEs this year.

Practice makes perfect

School Reporters from Birley Community College
Some students missed their lunch breaks to finish their reports

Year 8 reporter Amy, 13, interviewed the award-winners on camera as part of the school's report.

She said: "It was really good fun. I loved being able to report about something so imaginative. We practised the process the day before and had struggled to get it all done in time, so we had a meeting to make sure we knew where we could make improvements. It was great."

English teacher Tim Gardiner said the pen story was a great way to finish their News Report. Their top story looked at the quality of school dinners.

They also interviewed members of the public on their perceptions about young people and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Gardiner said: "Everyone loved the day and worked so hard - some of them even missed their lunch breaks. The final story had some really funny shots of boys using the pens."


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