2013 Student Winners
2013 student winners Sarah McArthur (2nd left) and Yaya Lu (far right), with Stephen Zander (President ASTA), Marius Kloppers (CEO, BHP Billiton) and Megan Clark (Chief Executive, CSIRO)
Methodist Ladies’ College, VIC
Project Title: The effect of anti-apoptotic genes on immune mediated cell death in cancer cells
Sarah’s investigation focused on the immune mechanisms used by the body in order to fight cancer. She examined a malfunctioning gene in cancerous cells that resulted in their resistance to immune defence. The gene was then targeted with a drug to overcome the resistance, and the cancer was destroyed by immune proteins and enzymes. In identifying and treating malfunctioning genes that cause cancers to resist immune destruction, these cancers may be treated.
Lyneham High School, ACT
Project Title: Dia-situations: An investigation into the use of diatomite for oil retrieval at sea
Myles investigated how pellets of hydrophobic diatomite could potentially be used in the case of a large scale oil spill. His experiments showed that the water repellent diatomite could not only selectively absorb oil from water, but that the small rocks would bunch into large clumps making it easy to collect.
Hornsby Girls High School, NSW
Project Title: Should we throw the pen out with the bathwater?
Students from university through to kindergarten are increasingly abandoning handwriting in favour of computer-based typing. Anna’s study explored the possible advantages handwriting might offer over typing in student learning outcomes. Factual recall levels of students who hand wrote dictation were compared with those who typed the same dictation with findings indicating that handwriting may indeed lead to higher recall. It’s an area that’s definitely worthy of further research.
Yaya (Chenyue) Lu
Ogilvie High School, TAS
Project Title: Prototyping possible assistive methodologies for complete quadriplegics
Complete quadriplegics can’t control their arms or legs. Yaya’s invention demonstrated two ways that a complete quadriplegic can control wheelchairs using either movement of their face or changes in their voice. Both methods should work for quadriplegics regardless of the language they speak and should potentially give them more independence.
Redeemer Baptist School, NSW
Project Title: Child Seat Alert: An innovative thermal monitoring device
Afework invented the Child Seat Alert, a thermal monitoring device that detects the presence of a child left in a car. Drawing on the results of 48 specific experiments using simulated babies, his self-contained car seat prototype utilises a pressure sensor and three temperature sensors to activate an alarm.
Mt Keira Public School, NSW
Project Title: A spoonge full of medicine is just what the doctor ordered
Macinley created a new device which can accurately measure and deliver medicine orally to a patient without overdosing or underdosing. The spoonge utilises the best qualities of spoons and syringes for medicine measurement and delivery.