The Young Scientist Award ceremony held on 4 November saw a celebration of STEM education at the University of Wollongong as 79 students from 40 schools were recognised for their achievements.
STEP gave its annual award to Jade Moxey, a year 10 student at Sapphire Coast Anglican College, for her patient and professional study of the spread of weeds through cattle grazing on her family's cattle farm near Bega.
But that wasn't the whole story: Jade also won first prize in her year group in the Earth and Biological Sciences category. Then to cap it all she was nominated as Young Scientist of the Year with a $1000 prize and a trip to Phoenix to representAustralia at the International Science and Engineering Fair next May
John Martyn who judged the award made these comments on Jade’s project:
This project shows excellent observation of, and interest in, the student's own home farm environment, patience in data gathering and attendance to details such as ethical issues and guarding against potential sample contamination.
Pasture weeds and their spread is a major problem in the grazing industry, but also many of the plants, like African Lovegrass and Fireweed, are bushland weeds in the Sydney area too. Her explanation for the non-appearance of Lovegrass in the timeframe of her study was also well researched and thought out.