by Ken Greatorex
Victoria’s mainstream media have pulled off a remarkable feat! It was the Diamond Anniversary of an annual Good News event involving thousands of intelligent, motivated Victorian children, staged in a city which thrives on Major Events; and yet, the Media still pretty much managed to keep it quiet!
The Science Talent Search celebrated its 60th birthday this year with the theme “React to Chemistry“. Students entered original projects in categories of creative writing, experimental research, inventions, working models, photography, posters, games, computer programs and video productions. The adjudged cream of Victoria’s budding young scientists made the annual pilgrimage to Latrobe University to receive cash bursaries and other rewards from prominent local scientists.
Terry Kelly and I attended Exhibition Day on behalf of Australian Skeptics Science and Education Foundation. ASSEF funded more than seventy bursaries this year along with other major sponsors including The Department of Early Childhood Development, Swinburne and Latrobe Universities, the Catholic Education Office, The Royal Society of Victoria, Rio Tinto, CSIRO and BHP Billiton. It was impossible for us to meet all of the hundreds of bursary winners; however we were able to interview a small cross-section whose contributions intrigued and impressed us.
Hui conducted an Experimental Research project, Do Plants Grow Better With Music? for which she received a minor bursary.
Ellen submitted the Experimental Research topic Can Eggs Bounce?, which won a major bursary.
Giancarlo also won a major bursary for Experimental Research. His topic was Are Garden Friendly Detergents Really Friendly For the Garden?
Ethan and Jake collaborated on a highly interactive game, which they called When It Does and When It Doesn’t.
Anand won a major bursary for his magnificent poster entitled Medicines from Plants.
Tavish was awarded a major bursary for Experimental Research, his topic being Is Information Read on Paper Retained Better than Information Read on an Electrical Screen?
These are just a few of the hundreds of talented students whose work was recognised with a cash award on Science Talent Search’s 2011 Exhibition Day. It’s an enormous undertaking, and it goes on every year, thanks to energetic and inspirational classroom teachers as well as over three hundred volunteer committee members and judges.
Through sponsorship and other avenues, Australian Skeptics are proud to be a part of this event.