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  • Gavin King

    TropicNow editor

    Email Gavin King

    Cairns students scoop national science prize

    Two St Monica's students have won a national prize - and the attention of some celebrity nerds - for using video to communicate a complex scientific process in an engaging way.


    St Monica's students Claire Galvin and Anna Hardy are not afraid of being called science geeks.

    These high-achieving, forward thinking Year 10 students are in fact proud of it, and no wonder.

    The pair have just scooped a national competition run by the Australian Museum aimed at communicating a scientific concept in an accessible and engaging way.

    Claire and Anna won the Australian Museum Sleek Geek Eureka Award with their short film explaining the unique way owls digest their food.

    Their project was judged the winner at a gala awards lunch at Sydney University where they were congratulated by 'celebrity nerds' Adam Spencer and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.

    After their win Dr Karl took them on a tour of ABC Radio and Triple J, where they joined in the recording of a podcast by breakfast hosts Matt and Alex and spoke about their project.

    The girls told TropicNow they worked on their short film over many months, planning, filming and editing the project during after school hours and lunchtime breaks.

    "In our Year Nine science class, one of the topics we studied was ecosystems and predator-prey relationships," Anna said.

    "One of the hands-on projects we were assigned was an owl pellet dissection.

    "We were inspired by our incredible science teacher Ms Rachael Tranter to explore this topic even further, and when we heard of the Sleek Geeks Secondary Science Eureka Prize, we were keen to enter this filmmaking competition and explain this special phenomenon with others."

    Claire said the short film included a range of shooting and editing techniques.

    "The process of planning, filming, editing and producing our three minute film took place over several months," she said.

    "We spent hours after school and during lunch times in the science lab, as well as most of our holidays, scriptwriting, filming, dissecting and editing.

    "We used a number of different techniques in our film, incorporating stop motion animation, time-lapses and other visual effects in our documentary style film."

    Claire and Anna recognise just how important it is to get more kids engaged in science.

    "Science is our future, and the basis of how we live our life," Claire said.

    "It engages our curiosity, and continues to astound us with it’s constantly advancing technology.

    "Science is the process of constantly changing how we know things. If there’s one thing for sure, science will continue to play an integral role in our lives, stimulating our curiosity and continually advancing our knowledge of the world and universe."