China-bound students in science win
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.