The 2018 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards held earlier this year highlighted innovative science and engineering projects. There were three categories in the competition, including: Engineering, Investigations and Innovation to Market. 26 finalists were chosen from these categories in hopes of promoting STEM’s next generation of leaders. Encouragingly, many of the participants came up with inventions and ideas looking at making the world a better place.
STEM, or study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects, is changing education around the world. This is due to the emphasis and importance being placed on these subjects as the world continues to evolve with technological advancements.
Oliver Nicholls, from Barker College, New South Wales clinched the top prize in the Engineering category, combining both his Math and Science knowledge to create a window cleaner that was able to function without being controlled. He hopes that his invention can reduce commercial costs of window cleaning, as well as reduce the occurrence of injuries in this industry. His product also went through testing to see if it was commercially viable.
The winner of the Investigations category was Ming Nga Nguyen, from Sydney Girls’ High School in New South Wales. She used agricultural by-products that included corn hushes, rice and bamboo scraps to make a bio by-product that can be used as both a water filter and fertilizer. She hopes that her invention will help reduce the effects of contaminated water and pollution caused from agricultural waste.
The Innovator to Market category saw Angeline Arora, also from Sydney Girls’ High School, New South Wales, receiving the top award. She used prawn shells and protein from silk to develop a bioplastic, which degrades completely with no harmful substances left behind. This bioplastic was tested for strength, clarity and solubility and she hopes that it will serve to cut down on the amount of rubbish both on land and in the marine environments. She later went on to be the youngest person speaking at the IMPACT7 Conference in Melbourne later that year, with other presenters in their goal towards zero waste. The IMPACT7 Conference aims at showcasing Australian research that is making an impact to problems addressing the earth.
STEMmates applauds these budding scientists and hopes that we too can encourage more and more of our younger generation to follow in their footsteps. Our courses are designed to get children as young as 7 years old interested in Science, Math and Technology. With hands-on and activity-based learning, our courses hope to keep the future of STEM bright and the minds of children active. Find out how your child can join the ranks of Australia’s new innovators through our Facebook and website pages today.