Girls shine in 2016 Young Scientist Awards Presentations

For the second year in a row the top prize in the Young Scientist Awards has been taken out by a Regional Year 10 female. Macinley Butson, from The Illawarra Grammar School won the 2016 Sebel Young Scientist of the Year Award. As well as the $2,000 top prize and $1,550 she received in other cash prizes, Macinley won an all-expenses paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), in Los Angeles in May 2017.




Macinley (second student from left) will be joined in Los Angeles by Jade Moxey, Sapphire Coast Anglican School; Mary-Anne Poyitt, Redeemer Baptist School and Maddison King from Meriden School. Maddison is the first HSC Design and Technology student to be representing Australia at ISEF. The four ISEF finalists were presented their awards by Gary Macarthur (far left) and Trevor Vyner (far right) who are the outgoing CEO and incoming CEO of our Principal Sponsor, Sebel Furniture.

In a competition that has previously been dominated by boys until girls took a slight lead last year, a massive 66% of the 129 individual awards were won by girls. Less than 12 months ago the Australian Government launched a major campaign to encourage more women and girls to study STEM at school and university. With a 2 to 1 ratio of girls to boys, something is definitely happening!

For a full set of results and summaries of every winning project go to our 2016 Presentation Ceremony Record and make sure you have a look at our 2016 ISEF Trip video to see what the girls will be experiencing in Los Angeles next year.

STANSW Young Scientist featured on ABC Splash

A good scientific investigation uses a systematic approach to answer questions about the world around us. Ann Hanna, Professional Development Officer of the STANSW Young Scientist Awards Committee, explains how students can carry out investigations that are not only systematic, but also reliable and engaging. Read the full article on the ABC Splash site here

ABC Splash Screenshot

Further boost in prizes

Australian scientific equipment supplier Rowe Scientific has committed significant financial support to ASTA and each state Science Teachers’ Association over the next 5 years. The STANSW Young Scientist Awards will benefit by receiving $10,000 annually, for which $8,000 will go directly into student and school prizes. This $8,000 will be allocated to the following three areas:

  1. $3,000 will go towards 3 grants of $1,000 for schools that are either rural or remote, have a high percentage of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or have rowe_logo (1)a high portion of indigenous students. Schools who satisfy one or more of these criteria and have two or more entries from Year 7-12 students in the 2016 STANSW Young Scientist Awards are eligible for one of these grants. Each grant will include at least $500 in resources (scientific equipment selected by the grant-winning school) and a visit from a Young Scientist Committee member who will run a training session for the staff of the grant-winning school.
  2. $700 will go towards prizes of $400, $200 and $100 for the Rowe Scientific Equipment Prize for three Year 7-12 students who best utilise scientific equipment in designing their solution to a scientific or technological problem.
  3. $4,300 will be allocated to increasing the value of all Working Scientifically, Working Technologically and Working Mathematically category awards by at least $50. Now, all of our 36 primary category awards and 36 secondary category awards will be at least $100 in value. Rowe Scientific are specifically contributing to extra prizemoney for secondary students and funds from BHP Billiton Foundation are being redirected to increase our primary prizes.

Intel ISEF 2016 Results

Four of our six ISEF finalists (66.7%) won Grand Awards for their projects at the recent 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, held in Phoenix. On a comparative scale, 26.1% of the 1768 ISEF finalists from 77 countries came away with a Grand Award. A tremendous result for our Young Scientist ISEF team!

Grand Award winners from left: Jade Moxey (Sapphire Coast Anglican College), Macinley Butson (The Illawarra Grammar School), Aniruddh Chennapragada (James Ruse Agricultural High School) and Nga Nguyen (Sydney Girls High School).

Meanwhile James Poyitt (Redeemer Baptist School) won a $48,000 USD  four-year scholarship at the University of Arizona in the Special Awards Ceremony. His project is featured in a Science News article.

Congratulations to one of our most successful teams ever!

Four students from the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Fair team also won prizes, including NSW student, Madeline Maloof (PLC, Sydney), who won a special award from the American Dental Association Foundation.

ISEF Team Departing for Phoenix

Framed by four of our ISEF Posters, printed by Limelight Digital,  and decked in team shirts designed by our Principal Sponsor, Sebel Furniture, the Young Scientist team is minutes away from leaving Sydney Airport.

ISEF Team Departing Sydney

Arriving in Phoenix on Thursday, Grand Canyon on Friday, Harlem Globetrotters and a Hummer tour of the Sonoran Desert on Saturday, ISEF pin exchange on Sunday, Opening Ceremony on Monday, Nobel Prize Winners Panel on Tuesday, Judging on Wednesday, Public Presentation Day on Thursday and Grand Awards Ceremony on Friday – the students are set for a wonderful experience in Phoenix.

We wish them well!


Exciting new prize from Sebel

2016 SSEBEL LOGO-TOP OPTION-CMYKebel Testing & Evaluation Prize

The Young Scientist Committee is very pleased to announce a new prize offered by our Principal Sponsor, Sebel Furniture. Based on the high level of quality control that Sebel displays in the design and manufacture of their products, they are looking for students who display the same meticulous and rigorous testing of their results or final products.

Three prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to the best K-12 entries. The project may be a survey where the student has taken hundreds of samples, an investigation involving multiple trials or the production of an innovative device or application incorporating rigorous testing and evaluation.