The annual Woodside Scitech Science Awards recognised almost 1,600 budding scientists in primary schools all across Western Australia during December.
The Awards are given to two graduating Year 6 students from each participating school who show excellence and passion in science lessons throughout the year.
In total 783 primary schools across the state registered for the awards in 2016, and prize packs were sent to schools in every corner of our state.
"It’s fantastic to see such a strong focus on STEM in Western Australian schools, with more teachers actively tackling problems of STEM disengagement and recognising their top students,” said Woodside Scitech Science Awards coordinator Megan O’Sullivan.
“We hope that through this award, students will be encouraged to continue developing their science investigation skills in high school and beyond, and maybe go on to achieve great things,” she said.
In December Scitech hosted a special awards ceremony for a handful of Perth students. Parents and teachers were invited to celebrate the students' achievements and the crowd heard from inspiring STEM professionals.
Students heard from Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year, Dr Scott Draper, and Woodside Corporate Affairs Manager Communities, Yvette Manolas on their non-traditional career (and personal) pathways.
A handful of students from around Perth were lucky enough to receive their special award at Scitech, and would be recognised again at their school assembly.
“It is really motivating to see so many young kids interested in science and it is a privilege to explain to them the work that I get to enjoy doing every day because of the excellent STEM opportunities I had during my time at School and University,” said Dr Draper.
“I personally find it very reassuring to see such a conscious effort to support STEM in WA schools. As a consequence I am sure that during my career many of the students I met today will enter into STEM professions and I am excited to see what new ideas they will bring with them,” he said.
Woodside Scitech Science Awards support science growth and interest in the community by providing a greater awareness of the critical role science plays in today’s society.
“Skills gained from science and STEM-based subjects encourage young people to question the world around them, and to think rationally and independently,” said Ms Manolas.
“Woodside is proud to support Scitech on initiatives such as the Woodside Scitech Science Awards,” she said.
Each award recipient was also recognised at their graduation ceremony and received a certificate, free pass to Scitech, science Encylopedia, and discounted CSIRO Double Helix subscription.
About the Woodside Scitech Science Awards
The Woodside Scitech Science Awards is a free program that provide primary schools with the opportunity to reward two of their top graduating science students for showing a curiosity about the world around them; a desire to experiment and investigate; an ability to use the scientific process to problem solve and extend their knowledge; and for their consistent passion and enthusiasm for science.
Woodside and Scitech seek to recognise, reward and support science in the community by providing a greater awareness of the critical role science plays in today’s society through these Awards.
About the guest speakers
Dr Scott Draper, Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year, shared his pathway to receiving the Premier’s Science Award accolade for his research in offshore fluid mechanics. Dr Draper’s research focuses on offshore fluid mechanics, applied to both the oil and gas and marine renewable energy industries. This covers a range of problems spanning through the water column, including stability and scour of subsea infrastructure at the seabed; the optimum arrangement of marine renewable energy devices; and most recently, wave kinematics and hydrodynamics of floating bodies. His research projects have been supported by the Australian Research Council in combination with a number of prominent industry players. His research has been presented in more than 100 publications.
Yvette Manolas, Woodside Corporate Affairs Manager Communities, has enjoyed a varied and exciting career as an engineer. Highlights of her career to date include working as an explosives expert around the world for large oil and gas companies; being awarded the WA Young Business Woman of the Year 2009; being recognised in the 40 Under 40 awards (2010); and managing planning for Woodside’s fleet of FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offtake) vessels. Yvette is a strong role model for girls looking to follow a career path in Engineering. By 28 she had risen to Senior Engineer level at Woodside and now manages the Communities portfolio.