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Young inventors shine at science fair 

Illawarra students put their original projects to the test at UOW's annual event

The weird, wacky, wonderful world of science came alive at the University of Wollongong on Wednesday (29 November) for the 2017 Illawarra Coal Science Fair.

The Illawarra’s brightest young scientists put their best inventions and experiments to the test – and up for judging – during the annual event, which was held at UOW’s Sports Hub.

More than 1000 students from 85 schools throughout the region attended the science fair, with budding scientists showcasing their science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects.

The annual science fair is now in its tenth year, each year attracting greater numbers of students eager to explore the world of science.

Associate Professor Stephen Ralph, Head of UOW’s School of Chemistry, said he was excited to see the innovative projects on display.

“UOW has a strong history of nurturing young scientific minds,” Prof Ralph said. “This event allows students to showcase creativity and problem-solving skills, while exploring the exciting world of science.

“It is exciting to see young minds come together to participate in Australia’s largest science fair.”

UOW Science Fair Collage

The day included talks from the Science Centre and Planetarium, a presentation from UOW students working on Project Everest, and a tour of the UOW science labs. The attendees were able to hear a guest presentation from archaeologist Dr Alex Mackay.

The original projects covered every field of science, from astronomy to zoology. Students competed for more than $5000 in cash prizes and the chance to represent Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the United States in 2018.

There were 25 awards given to aspiring young scientists. Some of the innovative projects include The Effect of Music on Distractibility, Battle of the Bats, The Stroop Effect: Which Gender Is Better?, and Is Greener Cleaner?.

Smith’s Hill High School received the UOW Coal Illawarra Leadership Award for the school with the best overall projects.

South32 Illawarra Coal has sponsored the fair for the past decade. Lucas Dow, Acting Vice President Operations, said the organisation was proud to support the annual science fair, which enables students to consider how they can pursue a career in science.

“We are pleased to be involved with an initiative that encourages young minds to explore the exciting world of science, and consider the vast career pathways it can offer, including industries such as mining,” Mr Dow said.

Posted in Science and Technology
Tagged: Science