Open to Talent

Mind muscles

Investigation Awards are encouraging budding scientists to pursue their studies

By Anna Osborne

Ashley CummingGemma Williams, Aimee Rose and Sarah MoodyMichael BoultLizzie Ennever
From left: Burnie Primary School student Ashley Cumming; St Mary’s College students Gemma Williams, Aimee Rose and Sarah Moody; The Hutchins School student Michael Boult; and Kingston High School student Lizzie Ennever

The world of science was put to the test when the University recently hosted the annual Science Investigation Awards.

More than 600 students from 28 schools across the state attended the events in Burnie and Hobart.

The competition is hosted by the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology with students from Years 5-12 choosing their own investigation and presenting their findings in a report and poster.

Students can enter as an individual or team, posing a question as a hypothesis and carrying out a scientific investigation to answer the question.

Researchers, scientists and industry representatives judge the projects, with prizes awarded at a presentation evening.

More than 330 projects were showcased this year covering topics including animal biodiversity studies, wind-powered phone chargers, the effectiveness of sunscreens and how music affects concentration.

“The Science Investigation Awards are a fantastic way for students to flex their ‘investigating and communicating’ muscles, and explore new ideas and a potential career in science,” University school outreach officer Adele Wilson said.

“The diversity of entries we received reflected the interests of young Tasmanians and what inspires them.”

The awards continue to receive strong support from Tasmanian MPs, business leaders and industry stakeholders from across Tasmania who provide sponsorship for cash prizes.

Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and the Royal Society of Tasmania are among the generous sponsors for the event.