2017 finalists selected

What have fungi, rips, Alzheimer’s and hoodies have in common?

They are some of the topics researched by Australia’s future science leaders and finalists in this years’ BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards announced this week.

Twenty-six Australian teenagers have been selected as finalists in the 2017 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards and acknowledged for their innovative science and engineering projects.

These students from around the country are among the finest young scientific minds in Australia, and have gone through rigorous judging to be selected for Australia’s most prestigious school science and engineering awards. They will be competing for a range of prizes including the chance to represent Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the United States in May 2017.

Karen Wood, Chairman of the BHP Billiton Foundation, said: “This year marks the 36th BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards and through the BHP Billiton Foundation we are thrilled to support bright, young future scientists and engineers. I’m very proud of what the Awards aim to achieve in encouraging students to explore, research and delight in the study of science, and challenge their understanding of the world around them.”

The Awards reward young people who have undertaken practical research projects that demonstrate innovative approaches and thorough scientific or engineering procedures.

“STEM drives innovation globally but in Australia the participation and engagement in STEM subjects by school students is declining. These Awards are an innovative and inspiring way to connect with future STEM professionals and encourage them to join us in tackling the challenges of tomorrow. The work that these students have done is truly inspiring and I have high hopes for the future of Australia”, said Dr Larry Marshall, Chief Executive CSIRO

The Awards have been running since 1981 and are a partnership between BHP Billiton Foundation, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA). They are supported by the BHP Billiton Foundation and managed by CSIRO.

The winners of the Awards will be announced on Tuesday 7 February 2017.