Searching for scientific talent

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Aquinas College, Ringwood.16 November 2021

Aquinas College, Ringwood, has uncovered some rising scientific stars with two Year 9 students receiving major bursaries in the Victorian Science Talent Search (STS) competition.

The STS competition challenges students to research a scientific topic of interest, conduct or design their own experiments/models, analyse their results and complete a detailed scientific report. The projects have to be unique and solve a contemporary societal need.

Year 9 student Patrick received a major bursary for his experimental research project on biogas production and how it can be used as an alternative fuel source. ‘During this experiment I had a ton of support from my dad who helped me with setting up the experiment in our shed’, said Patrick. ‘The main challenge was definitely having to restart my experiment and work on it at home during lockdown. I hope to continue a career in science and I hope to do an engineering degree focusing on alternative energy production.’

For her experimental research project on removing carbon dioxide from air, Year 9 student Monique was also awarded a major bursary. ‘I was honoured to have the chance to participate in the Science Talent Search for 2021’, said Monique. ‘This competition enabled me to gain experience in conducting a scientific investigation on removing carbon dioxide from the air with various scrubbing solutions. It was a great opportunity to be able to do an experiment on a topic that interested me with equipment and chemicals that I had never used before. This project has encouraged me to continue with chemistry in the future.’

Students competing in the Victorian STS competition submitted experimental research projects and working models on a broad range of scientific topics, including the construction of a prosthetic hand using LEGO, an investigation into the sleep behaviour of teenagers (in conjunction with Monash University) and an analysis of adolescent sports injuries.

A number of other Year 9 Aquinas College students received Distinction certificates, Merit certificates and Acknowledgment certificates. The Aquinas College community is very proud of these students’ achievements, but none are more proud than their Science teachers.