China-bound stu­dents in sci­ence win

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Two Pil­bara stu­dents will travel to China and present their sci­en­tific re­search projects on an in­ter­na­tional stage after win­ning an­nual Scitech com­pe­ti­tion, Bei­jing Bound, this month.

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School stu­dent Joshua Lyon, 16, and St Luke’s Col­lege stu­dent Satvika Sop­padandi, 16, were cho­sen from a pool of 10 fi­nal­ists to present their in­no­va­tive projects at the Bei­jing Youth Sci­ence Creation Com­pe­ti­tion next year.

Satvika ex­plored soil­less plant ecosys­tems us­ing aero­pon­ics, a method of grow­ing food in harsh en­vi­ron­ments such as the Pil­bara, un­der the men­tor­ship of Theresa Nguyen.

Joshua and his men­tor Ste­wart Brand re­searched the po­ten­tial of wave en­ergy on the North West Shelf by mea­sur­ing power from Hard­ing Dam and Sam’s Creek.

Scitech Bei­jing Bound co­or­di­na­tor Jess Silva said it was good to see so many high-qual­ity en­tries with a fo­cus on ad­dress­ing im­por­tant lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues us­ing sci­ence.

“Al­most all the stu­dents fo­cussed their projects on mak­ing the fu­ture of WA bet­ter — from har­ness­ing wave en­ergy or grow­ing plants with­out soil, to gen­er­at­ing power us­ing the Pil­bara salt flats or bat­tling ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion is­sues,” she said.

“In the fu­ture, th­ese stu­dents and their peers will be work­ing in jobs that haven’t been cre­ated yet. Bei­jing Bound pro­vides mo­ti­vated stu­dents with qual­ity ex­pe­ri­ence in sci­ence-based projects and en­cour­ages more stu­dents to ex­plore ca­reer op­tions in STEM.”

Bei­jing Bound, for Year 10 and 11 stu­dents, en­cour­ages stu­dents to pur­sue STEM study or ca­reer paths by of­fer­ing high school stu­dents from Kar­ratha Se­nior High School, St Luke’s Col­lege and Tom Price Se­nior High School the chance to un­der­take in­di­vid­ual re­search projects guided by men­tors from Rio Tinto.

The win­ners were selected by a three-per­son judg­ing panel con­sist­ing of Ms Silva and Rio Tinto se­nior ad­viser for com­mu­nity in­vest­ment Jackie Walsh and Dampier ports main­tenance man­ager An­drew Milliner.

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