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Students think big to change the world

What’s it take to change the world?  Three teenagers with a passion for STEM!

Macinley Butson, Isaac Brain and Mitchel Torok were this week announced as the winners of the   2019 BHP Foundation Science & Engineering Awards

Now in their 35th year, the Awards help uncover and develop the next generation of innovators who want to tackle and solve the world’s big challenges.

The inspiration for winner of the Innovator to Market prize, Macinley Butson of Illawarra Grammar School in NSW, was finding a cost-effective way of assisting in water purification, especially for developing communities. 

Macinley’s SODIS Sticker accurately measures the solar UV exposure required to sanitise drinking water through a high accuracy transparent UV-sensitive film coupled with a partially UV blocking filter. Watch Macinley talk about her project.

Macinley was also awarded first place in the Investigations category with her SMART System to reduce the unwanted skin and subcutaneous tissue dose delivered during radiotherapy cancer treatment. Find out more about Macinley’s project.

Winners of the Engineering Award, Isaac Brain (Launceston College, Tasmania) and Mitchell Torok (Rosny College, Tasmania) developed aWear for people living in residential aged care or assisted living

aWear is a physical watch that links to a database and can SMS nursing staff to residents’ status and location in real-time. Watch the teen scientists talk about their project.

Six finalists will also represent Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona. Isaac Brain, Josiah Cheng, Lucy Lake, Tiarra Meier, Mitchell Torok and Anne Zimmerman will join over 1,800 high school students from 75 countries, regions and territories to showcase their research.

The Awards also recognise outstanding contributions made by classroom teachers to science education. This year’s Award went to Allan Alipio, a Science Coordinator at CAPS Coolgardie.

The BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards are a partnership between BHP Foundation, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association. Read more.