Bright sparks award for science

Three year 11 students from the Mid-Western region will receive an award for their passion and outstanding achievements in the field of science.

Leva Perkons (Kandos High), Daniel Potter (Gulgong High) and Thomas Loughnan (Mudgee High) were nominated by their teachers for the Victor Chang School Science Award.

In total, 34 students from Western NSW will receive the award for their tenacity and commitment in the classroom, despite a nationwide decline of participation in school science.

Enrolments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects are currently at the lowest level in over two decades.

Named after the late cardiac surgeon and pioneer of modern heart transplantation, the Victor Chang School Science Awards were established to celebrate young, gifted students and to foster growth in scientific studies. Now in its 13th year, the awards also encourage the next generation of scientists to pursue a career in medical research.

According to Dr Ralph Patrick from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, nurturing the future of Australian research is vital.

“Australia has such a proud science history, and through acknowledging these young students we’re giving the next generation of scientists the opportunity to see how research can directly touch people’s everyday lives,”  Dr Patrick said.

“As a scientist, not only are you contributing to building knowledge, but you are constantly solving problems and seizing opportunities while improving the wellbeing of society.”

The students will be acknowledged at a ceremony at Dubbo College Senior Campus. The winners will join more than 200 students from across NSW on a tour of the Victor Chang Institute, and have the opportunity to learn firsthand from world-renowned scientists.