The BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards are Australia’s most prestigious school science and engineering awards. The finalists are the best and brightest student researchers and innovators in the country. The Awards also recognise teachers who engage students in the study of open-ended investigations and work consistently within their school community and wider professional arenas to make an outstanding contribution to science education in Australia.
The Awards are a partnership between the BHP Foundation, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, SASTA and all other state and territory Science Teacher Associations across Australia. Entry to the Awards is via nomination through the SASTA Oliphant Science Awards.
Primary Awards Finalists will receive a certificate of recognition as Finalists. Other Primary nominees will receive a certificate of recognition as Semi-Finalists.
Primary Finalists may have the opportunity to virtually attend a scientific institution or facility, guided by a local expert able to answer questions and provide personal insights. There will be no cash or travel prizes for Primary Finalists this year.
Secondary Finalists will receive a certificate of recognition as Finalists. Other Secondary nominees will receive a certificate of recognition as Semi-Finalists.
Secondary Finalists will be invited to participate in a virtual Awards Experience, to be held 10–12 December 2020, where they will be celebrated for their achievement and be invited to participate in opportunities aimed at further developing their skills and interests. There will be no cash or travel prizes for Finalists this year.
It is expected that Finalists will have the opportunity to:
- virtually attend tours of scientific institutions and facilities, guided by local experts able to answer questions and provide personal insights
- engage in guest speaker presentations on a range of topics such as science, engineering, entrepreneurship, business, science communication, leadership, managing stress, etc.
- present their project to a panel of professionals and receive feedback on their presentation and project
- network with fellow finalists, alumni, and VIPs.
A panel of professionals will select students to represent Australia in the virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) over 9–14 May 2021. Selection will be based on Finalists’ participation over the virtual Awards Experience.
All teacher nominees will be celebrated and invited to participate in development opportunities described below.
Each nominee will be:
- expected to participate in the Virtual Teacher Best Practice Seminar on Thursday 3 December 2020 where they will be recognised as a Teacher Finalist in the BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards
- showcased on scienceawards.org.au
- invited to participate in the Student Awards VIP Event on Thursday 10 December 2020
- invited to have their ideas showcased on the CSIRO website
- given priority access for selected CSIRO/ASTA professional development opportunities that may arise in 2021
- be invited to participate as an observer in the (virtual) Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) over 9–14 May 2021.
In order to be a BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards entrant, you need adhere to the following guidelines:
- your entry must have been nominated by your state or territory Science Teacher Association (STA)
- your project must be entered into either the Investigations or Engineering categories
- projects must include designing and carrying out an experimental investigation or engineering project
- group projects include a maximum of three students
- students must be an Australia Citizen or permanent resident. Each project may only be entered once, however if a student or group of students have more than one project nominated, they can enter the competition more than once. The online entry form and all PDFs must be completed and uploaded.
- a project abstract (guidelines on webpage) of up to 250 words will be required for the online entry form
- each project must be assigned a Unique Project ID. This should be the only identifying information on your written report. Your Unique Project ID will be assigned to you/your team by your local STA.
- Please contact your STA if you do not have your Unique Project ID
- a written project report is to be uploaded with the online entry form (PDF preferred). The report for both the Investigations and Engineering categories must have the following characteristics:
- 3000 word limit
- Acknowledgement of prior research/development and assistance from experts/industry professionals
- must include a comprehensive risk assessment
- must not have your name, age or state anywhere within the report
- each page of your report must be labelled with your Unique Project ID
- engineering entries must be a working device or product
- ICT-based projects in an Engineering or Science context that have a positive impact are also eligible
- each entry must be accompanied by a video of the device/product in operation
- it is important to note that the quality of the video itself will play no part in the judging; however, it is important that the judges can see and hear the device operating to assess it fairly
Engineering judging breakdown
- 40% design approach (including risk management)
- 40% design ingenuity
- 20% value
Investigations judging breakdown:
- 40% scientific Procedure (including risk management)
- 40% ingenuity
- 20% value
Do you have further questions about how to enter - head to the BHP Science Awards page.