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Young scientists impress at awards

Experiments on matters ranging from dog biscuits to gamma rays were on show at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2015 Science Research Awards recently.

Seventy-seven budding scientists from 14 Sunshine Coast primary and secondary schools presented their research in poster displays at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium on 20 August.

Panels of judges, comprising industry scientists and academics, assessed the posters and also interviewed the Year 6, 11 and 12 students about their projects.

The awards are held annually and provide students with an exciting platform to present and communicate their research to scientific professionals.

St Andrew’s Anglican College student Emily Korrum won the Senior Scientist award for her experiment entitled ‘Coral Surface Area and Morphology’, which compared the distribution of coral at varying depths off Heron Island.

The judges described Emily’s project as wonderfully enthusiastic and said it showed a strong understanding of both her topic and scientific method.

The Junior Scientist award went to Mapleton State School Year 6 student Jack Watson for his experiment, A Woofy Project’, which investigated the pH and glucose levels of different types of dog food.

In the experiment, Jack fed his dog Missy Moo canned food, fresh meat and dry biscuits for five days each and conducted glucose tests on the dog’s urine.
USC Science, Technology Engineering and Maths Outreach Coordinator Marina Fitzpatrick said there had been a buzz in the auditorium as the young scientists showed their work to judges and their fellow students.

“The high standard of work was impressive,” Mrs Fitzpatrick said.

“We were delighted to witness the enthusiasm for science among the students and the variety of engaging projects.”

The Science Research major award winners were:

Overall winner for Junior Scientist: Jack Watson – Mapleton State School
Overall winner for Senior Scientist: Emily Korrum – St Andrew’s Anglican College

Year 6 placegetters:

1. Conner Kelly and Zach Peters – Siena Catholic College
2. Finn Haapakoski and Jacob Thomas – Mapleton State School
3. Saffron Barr and Jenah Murdoch - Mapleton State School

Year 11 placegetters:
1. Katie Greaves – Urangan State High School
2. Eliza Parker – James Nash State High School
3. Ben Magao – Mountain Creek State High School
Highly Commended: Ryan Dodd – Aldridge State High School

Year 12 placegetters:
1. Maegan Emerick – St Andrew’s Anglican College
2. Hannah Byrne – Gympie State High School
3. Brandon Van Achteren – Chancellor State College
Highly Commended: Kailey Beattie – Chancellor State College

3 Minutes to Win It: Jasraaj Singh – Nambour State High School

— Gen Kennedy

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