Big Picture


STANSW Young Scientist Awards partners with other organisations to provide opportunities for the best entries to represent their state and their country. In the last 14 years, 99 Young Scientist award-winning projects have been selected as finalists in the national BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards, which includes an all-expenses trip to Melbourne to attend a four day science camp.

In the last 22 years, 89 Young Scientist award-winning projects have represented Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), held in the USA. There are minor differences in the rules and judging criteria for each of these fairs, however, experience has shown that projects that comprehensively satisfy the rules and judging criteria of the Young Scientist Awards generally perform admirably in these national and international fairs.


New South Wales students have the wonderful opportunity for projects from the smallest of school fairs to be able to progress to the largest high school science and engineering fair in the world. Below is the pathway for projects started after 1st September 2019 and it needs to be pointed that Young Scientist is the only state competition with a direct route to ISEF. Subject to funding from our major sponsors and COVID restrictions, we are hoping to select up to nine of the top Year 9-12 projects in the 2020 Young Scientist Awards to represent Australia at ISEF in the USA in May 2021.

For students entering School and Regional Fairs the only way a project can advance to the national or international level is through the Young Scientist State Fair. Simply go to our online entry registration and upload your project for the chance of more prizes.



Walcha Central School Fair



A regional fair comprises two or more local schools organising a combined display of projects with sponsored awards. 

Science Fair Winners 2017


STANSW Young Scientist provides over $29,000 in prizes for our State Fair through the generosity of our sponsors. There is no entry fee and we are reliant on our sponsors and volunteers for the running of these awards. In 2019 there were 54 awards in the primary age groups and 106 awards in the secondary age groups, with every award being $100 or more. Schools are requested to conduct their own preliminary judging and only send their best entries for state level judging.


Since 2007, the best project entries from each Australian state and territory have been sent to the national BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards. Our 2020 BHPFSEA representatives from NSW outperformed all other states and territories, winning 4 of the 7 major awards and we won 3 of the 8 major awards in the Primary section.

In 2020, 15 of the 26 national finalists were from the STANSW Young Scientist Awards Competition – our highest number ever. 5 of these finalists went on to win 4 of the 7 BHPFSEA awards!  


At Intel ISEF 2018, there were close to 1800 finalists from 81 countries. Since 1999, 29 out of 58 (50% ) Young Scientist projects have won Grand Awards. This is an amazing feat as historically only one quarter of all Intel ISEF projects win a Grand Award. At Intel ISEF 2018, in Pittsburgh, Young Scientist had 9 representatives. Students from NSW came home with over $196,000 in prize money and scholarships including the overall top prize won by Oliver Nicholls from Barker College. Oliver was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award for USD $75,000, in recognition of his autonomous robotic window cleaner being the most outstanding and innovative project at the fair and possessing the greatest potential impact for revolutionizing its’ particular field of work.

NSW Young Scientist students came home from ISEF 2019 with 5 Grand Awards and 3 Special Awards between them.

NSW Young Scientist students did not compete in ISEF 2020 as the fair was cancelled due to COVID-19.

We are most appreciative of all our sponsors for making these wonderful opportunities available to NSW students.