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Creative kids awarded for biosecurity awareness projects

Four NSW schools have received awards as part of the 2017 Investigate Science and Technology Competition for their work on aphids, each taking home a cash prize.

Winning students from Coogee Public School, Gresford Public School, Caringbah Public School and Bundarra Central School joined more than 2600 others in the competition, submitting a range of creative and inspiring entries.

The annual competition, open to all NSW Year 5 and 6 students, is an initiative of the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) School Program.

DPI Deputy Director General Biosecurity and Food Safety Mr Bruce Christie said the competition focuses on an important biosecurity topic each year, providing exercises and activities for teachers to conduct with their students.

“The spotlight was on aphids, which are a significant problem for gardeners and farmers throughout our State and the country,” he said.

“In 2016, NSW was one of three states to find exotic pest Russian wheat aphid in crops.

“Unfortunately, due to its rapid spread, it wasn’t possible to eradicate it and it’s now classed as an endemic pest species.

“This means that it has the real potential to adversely impact the productivity of our agriculture sector if not controlled.”

Mr Christie said the DPI-run competition aims to generate an interest in biosecurity, science, technology and agriculture in our young people, promoting the importance of these subject areas across NSW schools.

“The unit of work taught students about aphids, the integrated pest management approach and beneficial insects,” he said.

“Schools were asked to solve the problem of ‘how can you keep aphids away?’, and asked to develop an advertisement to persuade others to help combat the pests.

“The quality of projects submitted was exceptional – we received everything from video submissions to websites and magazines.”

To formally receive its award, each school will host a presentation ceremony to coincide with Education Week on the following dates:

  • Coogee Public School (1st place) – Monday, 31 July 2017 at 9am
  • Gresford Public School (2nd place) – Tuesday, 1 August 2017 at 10am
  • Caringbah Public School (Highly Commended) – Tuesday, 1 August 2017 at 10am
  • Bundarra Central School (3rd place) – Thursday, 3 August 2017 at 11.40am

Source: NSW DPI

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