BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards

The BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards are Australia’s most prestigious school science and engineering awards. The finalists are the best and brightest student researchers and innovators in the country. The Awards also recognise teachers who engage students in the study of open-ended investigations and work consistently within their school community and wider professional arenas to make an outstanding contribution to science education in Australia.

The Awards are a partnership between the BHP Foundation, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, STANSW and all other state and territory Science Teacher Associations across Australia. Entry to the Awards is via nomination through the STANSW Young Scientist Awards.

Prizes

The top twenty-six finalists will be invited to an all-expenses paid, four-day educational science camp and the prestigious BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards ceremony to be held in Melbourne in February each year. Part of this camp includes the final judging round for the major awards.

The top three projects from the Investigations category and top three projects from the Engineering category receive the following:

First: A$4000

Second:  A$3000

Third: A$1500

One finalist will be awarded the Innovator to Market award. The Innovator to Market winner will receive an all-expenses paid experience including attendance at one of CSIRO’s ON programs and visit to CSIRO labs or centres.

The top twenty finalists will receive A$250.

Up to 100 semi-finalist entries will win A$100.

International Competition

The finalist winners for the BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards will have the chance to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the United States of America in May.

Primary Awards

Up to eight winning primary entries will win A$250.

Up to 90 primary students will receive encouragement award packs.

 

Teacher Award

Teacher finalists will be invited to attend the BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards Teacher Best Practice Seminar and the prestigious BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards ceremony to be held in Melbourne in February each year. The winning teacher will also be invited to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the United States of America in May.

Student Entry

In order to be a BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards entrant, you need adhere to the following guidelines:

  • your entry must have been nominated by your state or territory Science Teacher Association (STA)
  • your project must be entered into either the Investigations or Engineering categories
  • projects must include designing and carrying out an experimental investigation or engineering project
  • group projects include a maximum of three students
  • students must be an Australia Citizen or permanent resident6.each project may only be entered once, however if a student or group of students have more than one project nominated, they can enter the competition more than once7.the online entry form and all PDFs must be completed and uploaded
  • a project abstract (guidelines on webpage) of up to 250 words will be required for the online entry form
  • each project must be assigned a Unique Project ID. This should be the only identifying information on your written report. Your Unique Project ID will be assigned to you/your team by your local STA.
  • Please contact your STA if you do not have your Unique Project ID
  • a written project report is to be uploaded with the online entry form (PDF preferred). The report for both the Investigations and Engineering categories must have the following characteristics:
    • 3000 word limit
    • Acknowledgement of prior research/development and assistance from experts/industry professionals
    • must include a comprehensive risk assessment
    • must not have your name, age or state anywhere within the report
    • each page of your report must be labelled with your Unique Project ID

Engineering Projects

  • engineering entries must be a working device or product
  • ICT-based projects in an Engineering or Science context that have a positive impact are also eligible
  • each entry must be accompanied by a video of the device/product in operation
  • it is important to note that the quality of the video itself will play no part in the judging; however, it is important that the judges can see and hear the device operating to assess it fairly

Engineering judging breakdown

  • 40% design approach (including risk management)
  • 40% design ingenuity
  • 20% value

 

Investigations Projects

Investigations judging breakdown:

  • 40% Scientific Procedure (including risk management)
  • 40% Ingenuity
  • 20% Value