When Hannah Sutton started investigating how a peptide from the skin glands of the Australian tree frog could be used in a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, she never imagined how far her Year 9 research project would take her.
But the little tree frog that could (potentially treat Alzheimer’s disease) just earned Hannah a trip to compete in Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the USA – and brought her back an Intel ISEF Grand Award.
Hannah, who conducted her project with the assistance of the Menzies Institute in Tasmania, was one of nine BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Award finalists who were selected to attend Intel ISEF, and one of six who returned home with a prize.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall congratulated the returning students, saying all the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Award finalists had made Australia proud.
“The innovation delivered by these students highlights importance of STEM education to the future of Australia,” Dr Larry Marshall said.
“The diversity of projects from our award winners, from tree frogs and Alzheimer’s, to inventing a solar powered device to deliver clean energy and water for remote communities, shows you never know where a STEM project or career may lead you.
“CSIRO has been proud to manage the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards for the past 35 years.
“Every year the projects grow more innovative and imaginative than the year before, it’s a true evolution of innovation, and I can’t wait to see what the next awards will bring,” he said.
The students attending Intel ISEF were finalists of the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards, a partnership between BHP Billiton, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association.
“I am 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,” BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie said.
The awards reward young people who have undertaken practical research projects which demonstrate innovative approaches and thorough scientific or engineering procedures.
The awards are sponsored by the BHP Billiton Foundation and managed by CSIRO.
For more information on the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards visit scienceawards.org.au