In May 2019, a group of nine NSW high school students from the 2018 Science Teachers Association of NSW (STANSW) Young Scientist Awards were selected to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona. The Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, through its Supporting Young Scientists Program, funded four of these students, who provided the following feedback upon their return.
Sophie Angus, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney
Cilantro Leaf, Lead Relief: An investigation into which form of cilantro (fresh leaves, fresh stems or dried leaves) is most effective in removing lead from lead-contaminated water
"ISEF was the most unforgettable and life-changing experience. I have learnt so much, met so many inspiring people and have had my eyes further opened to the incredible world of science. I was able to make connections with students, mentors and scientists from all corners of the globe and I hope to use my experience to encourage other students to take on the challenge of completing projects that could potentially solve problems that the world is facing. Thank you again, I am truly grateful."
Angelina Arora, Sydney Girls High School
Green to Clean: Algae - A Novel Method for Oil Spill Remediation
"I would just like to say a massive thank you to all the sponsors, especially the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and the NSW department of Industry for making such an amazing experience at the International Science and Engineering Fair possible. Going to ISEF has really been life changing and I wouldn't have been able to learn and grow so much if it wasn't for all your support.
"I think it is fantastic that there are programs in place to encourage participation in such events, especially for young people in STEM, as they truly are instrumental for personal development and aid in expanding the body of knowledge we currently have. I am forever grateful as this opportunity has meant so much to me and am sure that it will shape my future!"
Olivia Arvanitis, Meriden
Automated Water Monitoring System
"I would like to express my gratitude to the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer for enabling me to attend, and I am so thankful I was given this opportunity. To be immersed in the excitement of ISEF was such an invaluable experience, and it was so inspiring to see how other people from so many different cultures view and approach STEM problems. I have learnt so much from the experience that I would not elsewhere, and I really appreciate your help for both myself and the other finalists on the team."
Eliza Martin, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney
The Development of a Novel Treatment for Lactose Intolerance Using Synbiotic Formulations
"I am extremely grateful for your support that allowed me to compete at this event. I was shocked and delighted to be announced as a 4th Place Grand Award winner on Friday 17th of May in Phoenix, as this has been my main goal over the past four years.
"My time at ISEF was absolutely incredible and has changed my life in many ways. The depth of projects undertaken by students from around the world was inspirational, and seeing such high-level research performed by students showed me that anything can be achieved with grit, time and determination. It was also amazing to see that these students are just like everyone else; they play sports, are involved in music ensembles and have a large support system back home. Their projects were an addition to their normal lives, not a substitution for their normal lives. The event has inspired me to pursue research as a career in the future, and to keep working hard at my goals.
"Thank you for your generous financial support that allowed me to attend this amazing event, I will be forever grateful for this opportunity that I was given."