16 Mar 2018
From Left to Right Bronwyn Stanbury, Michael van der Ploeg, Nadia Hagberg, Sophie McConnell, Wendy Rowe, Chad Gramola, Hayley Laidlow and Sue Webber.
The STEM X (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Exchange) Academy is a five-day residential professional learning program for primary and secondary teachers (total of 70) of science developed in partnership between Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) to address the national need for improving teacher and student STEM skills and content knowledge.
The program is doing something no other program does. Rather than just providing teachers with a package of resources to use in the classroom, it is helping them to acquire the skills and confidence to design, develop and implement their own teaching resources.
STEM X Academy does this by partnering teachers with skilled educators from Questacon and CSIRO and expert researchers to collaborate on projects across the five days. This fosters the building of relationships between teachers, schools and the STEM Industry.
The vision for STEM X Academy teachers is to be inspired by research, foster innovation in the classroom, act as a catalyst for change and remain connected creating a national community of practice. Strong evidence exists to suggest that all these objectives are being fulfilled.
2018 STEM X Academy Rowe Scientific Pty Ltd Scholarship Winners:
Queensland: Hayley Laidlow, Osborne State School, Home Hill Qld
New South Wales: Nadia Hagberg, St. Bridgets College, Lake Munmorah, NSW
ACT: Bronwyn Stanbury, Radford College, Bruce, ACT
Victoria: Wendy Rowe, Greenvale Primary School, Greenvale, VIC
Tasmania: Michael van der Ploeg, Table Cape Primary, Wynyard, TAS
South Australia: Chad Gramola, Mt Compass Area School, Mt Compass, SA
Western Australia: Sue Webber, Kalgoorlie Boulder Community HS, WA
Northern Territory: Sophie McConnell, Darwin High School, Darwin, NT
15 Mar 2018
Mr Thomas Sanfead
Our congratulations to Mr Thomas Sanfead, the 2017 winner of the ECU Rowe Scientific Prize in Chemistry.
In Thomas’s words,
“I enjoy how logical chemistry is. How the structure and shape of compounds influence their properties, and how this affects the way different chemicals interact with each other.
The various chemicals throughout the human body and how they allow us to function is fascinating.
Different chemicals, such as medicines, and how they interact with the human body, altering it to either hinder or help us is exciting.
Overall I think the role which chemistry has in the natural world is wondrous.”
Well done Thomas.
15 Mar 2018
Mr Andre Wang
Congratulation to Andre Wang and Samuel Alsop who were the recipients of the 2017/18 UWA Vacation Awards in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Mr Andre Wang
In Andre’s words on the description of his project,
"Mitochrondria are one of the most viral organelles in eukaryotic organisms such as humans and plants.
Originating from an endosymbiotic event and the subsequent loss of genes to the nucleus, thousands of mitochondrial proteins are thus required to be imported from the cytosol (Dudek et al., 2013).
These proteins have highly specialised mechanisms and utilise several receptors and transporters located in the mitochrondrial membranes. Recent studies suggest that several of these transporters are key regulators in controlling the rate of transport and thus mitochondrial function (Wang et al., 2013).
The Murcha lab within the School of Molecular Sciences have generated a range of Arabidopsis thaliana transgenic lines that overexpress certain key protein transporters such as Tim17, Tim22 and Tim23 from 2-10 fold. The functionality of this overexpression will be tested.
By isolating mitochondria from these lines, protein uptake ability can be assessed and quantifiably measured. Furthermore, a range of substrates can be investigated to identify the consequences of manipulating these transporters on the various known protein import pathways.
This project aims to therefore identify key regulators of protein uptake ability in plant mitochondria. This will elucidate targets that can be used to regulate mitochondrial biogenesis and activity resulting in plants with bigger biomass, faster growth and resistance to a range of environmental stresses.”
Mr Samuel Alsop
Samuel describes his project as follows,
“The project will involve investigating a biosynthetic gene cluster in the wheat pathogen Parastagononspora nodorum, using a variety of biochemical techniques. P. nodorum is the fungus responsible for Septoria nodorum blotch, and it is believed that it produces a number of secondary metabolites which contribute to its virulence.
As with other fungi, many of the biosynthetic gene clusters that produce these secondary metabolites are transcriptionally silent under normal growth conditions.
The aim of the project is to heterologously express genes in a biosynthetic gene cluster to produce intermediates and products of a biosynthetic pathway that has been shown to be expressed exclusively during infection of the host plant.
This will allow for the identification of the compounds using LC-MS and NMR spectroscopy. This will hopefully improve our understanding of the role that the secondary metabolite produced by this pathway may play in virulence, as well as providing insight into how it is synthesised by the fungus.
This project will be a continuation of work on this gene cluster conducted in a research project for BIO3003/BIO3005 throughout semester 2.”
14 Mar 2018
Mr Stephen Delwig
Congratulations to the following two winners of the Rowe Scientific scholarship, covering the years 2017 and 2018, from the staff of Rowe Scientific Pty Ltd.
Mr Stephen Delwig
In Stephen’s own words;
“I completed both primary and secondary education in the Victorian western districts town of Camperdown. Neither of my parents were able to work during this time; my father is disabled and my mother cares for him.
After completing my final year of VCE, I acquired financial support in the form of a Dafydd Lewis Scholarship and moved to Ballarat to pursue my tertiary studies. I initially pursued a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ballarat (which has since changed names to Federation University) but after two years, I decided that engineering was not my desired profession and changed courses to study a Bachelor of Science at Federation University.
I have now completed my Bachelor of Science degree (biochemistry major, microbiology minor). I have now moved to Geelong to pursue a chemistry Honours degree at Deakin University (Geelong Waurn Ponds campus).
Ms Catherine Fraser
In Catherine’s own words;
“I have recently completed a Bachelor of Science with Distinction from Deakin University. I will be undertaking an Honours year in 2018, and following this I intend on completing a PhD.
I have learnt a great deal about myself in my three years of undergraduate study. I have also developed professional skills that are applicable to any career path, and most significantly I found where my passion lay; chemistry.
Having a passion for my field has enabled my skill development. Naturally, my discipline specific skills have developed greatly, most notably, I believe, are the skills I have acquired and improved in teamwork, self-management, and critical thinking
Pursuing a career in chemistry has pushed and challenged me to take on any opportunity to learn.
30 Jan 2018
The following are the two 2017 Rowe Scientific Metallurgy scholarship winners.
Mr Brendan Jones
In Brendan’s words;
My name is Brendan Jones and I am a current student at Curtin University studying a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy.
At the end of 2017 I will have finished my third and final amazing year at Curtin’s West Australian School of Mines (WASM) in Kalgoorlie. Extractive metallurgy is a specialist field that deals with the extraction of metals and mineral products from their ores through the application of scientific principles.
Extractive metallurgists play a key role in the mining industry. Throughout the last three years at Curtin I have enjoyed every discipline which involved chemistry, and metallurgy is no different. Metallurgy incorporates all the best elements of practical chemistry from leaching to electrochemistry.
I enjoy the challenges that metallurgy provides, particularly when analysing or partially designing process flow systems and understanding the mechanisms involved.
Although learning about metallurgy is fascinating, I am very much looking forward to putting my theoretical knowledge into action with upcoming vacation work and potential employment in the mining industry in the future. I would like to extend my gratitude to Rowe Scientific for providing me with financial aid and allowing me to continue to enjoy the field of metallurgy.
Ms Tram Nguyen
In Tram’s words;
I have always been interested in chemistry since I was in high school.
The fact that you can make different kind of alloys that can be applied to real life situations just by changing the composition of the metal input is really fascinating.
As a university student, I am always supported by Curtin. The Engineering and Science department tries their best to give me chances to get my hands on real life process through the laboratories.
One of the labs really got my interest was the extraction of gold from the ore. Even though we didn’t have the chance to deal with real gold due to high cost of gold, we actually had chance to extract metal out of the sample. In my point of view, it was a fantastic process.
Starting from a mixture between two things, by using the differences in their physical and chemical properties, we are able to separate them. That’s why I really like metallurgical field.
With the support of Rowe Scientific, through the Rowe Scientific Metallurgy Scholarship, I will be able to spend more time on my study. It also helps me prove that hard work will be rewarded. Thank you for your generosity and all your supports.
30 Jan 2018
Mr Michael Van Wageningen
In Michael's own words;
I enjoy studying chemistry and plan to follow a career in that field.
I would love the opportunity to make wine in Europe and have already begun to make some connections through the University. I hope to one day start my own vineyard in Tasmania.
Being awarded this scholarship has made a big difference to my living conditions and helped to reduce stress about finances or placing additional burdens on my family.
You have changed my life in a way I never knew could happen. I am very grateful for your support and can't thank you enough.
30 Jan 2018
Ms Jessica De La Perrelle
In Jessica's own words;
I moved from the country to the University of Adelaide because of the high quality of teaching. From a young age I was passionate about 'saving the world' via sustainable technologies and still hope to work one day in research in the sustainable technology field.
I intend to graduate with honours in either physical chemistry or physics. Receiving this scholarship has had a significant positive impact and I would like to sincerely thank you for your generous support.
My intense study load means I have little time for a part time job, and rely on savings and family for financial support. The scholarship contributed to easing my anxiety and financial pressures, enabled me to purchase a new laptop, and allowed me to focus on my university studies.
This scholarship has helped me to realise a lifelong dream of researching improvements to sustainable technologies. In addition, I would like to thank you for making the scholarship available to rural, regional and remote students, as the transition to university is often so much more complex for them, and I would love to see more rural students succeeding at university.
Mr Brandt Dolic
In Brandt's own words;
I have enjoyed my studies at the University of Adelaide and hope to one day complete a PhD and work in the research area.
My favourite thing at the University is The Braggs Laboratory and the investment and facilities they have put into the research area.
This scholarship has allowed me to focus more on studies rather than be distracted with juggling the financial issues that come with moving states.
Thank you for believing in the future I want to achieve. I really enjoy synthetic chemistry and wish to continue my studies further representing this scholarship.
Thank you very much for your support.
30 Jan 2018
The awardees, are left to right, with their award category, and school year
Rowe Scientific was pleased to be able to donate some 60 cash prizes to category winners in the STANT Young Scientist competition. The awards took place in Darwin, on 23 November, 2017.
The following photograph includes students who were Rowe Scientific award winners from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart school (OLSH) in Alice Springs, who were not able to attend the award ceremony in Darwin.
Shawn Bett (1st Scientific Communication – Scientific Writing 7-9 individual, 1st STEM in the NT – Life Application 7-9 Individual, 2nd Scientific Communication – video 7-9 Group) Sarah Muller (2nd Scientific Communication – writing 7-9 Individual) Chiara Antonelli (1st Stem in the NT – Life Application 7-9 Individual) Matilda Kneiss (3rd Scientific Communication – Video 7-9 Group) Jacob Gardner (2nd Scientific Communication – Video 7-9 Group) Shaelyn Crowhurst (3rd Scientific Communication – Video 7-9 Group) Leticia Alcantara Keane (3rd Scientific Communication – Scientific Writing 10-12 Individual) Sarah Harris (3rd Scientific Communication – Video 7-9 Group) Jack van der Geest-Hester (3rd Scientific Communication – Scientific Writing 7-9 Individual) Nirali Panchal (2nd Scientific Communication – Poster 10-12) Joshua Mullan (1st Scientific Communication - Web based 10-12 – Individual)
Also pictured, far right, is Ms Jillian Neyland, NT nomination for BHP Billiton Foundation Teacher of the Year. Although not a recipient of a Rowe Scientific STANT prize, she teaches at OLSH in Alice Springs, and we offer our congratulations on her nomination.
Rowe Scientific Pty Ltd have pledged to support science teaching in each state and territory of Australia, through the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA), for an initial period of 5 years (commenced in 2016).
30 Jan 2018
Ling Ling was presented with her award by Rowe Scientific NSW State Manager, John Dwyer.
Ms Ling Ling Pin from PLC Sydney came 3rd overall and was awarded the Rowe Scientific Equipment Prize.
She was concerned about the effects on phytoplankton when sunscreen washes from swimmers.
Using an electronic balance, she tested the effect of the same amount of common sunscreens on samples of water. After filtering and staining the samples and viewing under a microscope she found that the zinc sunscreen led to the smallest decrease in the phytoplankton population.
30 Jan 2018
From left to right; Georgia Hannah, Claire Galvin, Eliza Dalziel and Anna Hardy
Rowe Scientific Rural / Regional Secondary Student Awards
On 28 October, 2017, the above students from St Monica's College, Cairns, were the recipients of a Rowe Scientific Pty Ltd Rural/ Regional Secondary Student Award, in the STAQ science competition, at the University of Queensland (UQ).
In their film Manure You Know, Eliza, Claire, Georgia and Anna explain the importance of dung beetles in our ecosystem. They investigate why the introduction of dung beetles has positively influenced farms on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, and demonstrate how the belt transect method can be used to monitor dung beetle populations.
These 4 students also won the UQ Young Scientist Award as well as the Sleek Geeks Science Prize at the Eureka Awards. See the video here. Well done ladies.
30 Jan 2018
Research Investigations Senior Secondary Winner
Mr Logan Howell, Don College, Devonport
“NO?-Free (Low voltage, low current electro-reduction of aqueous nitrates via single cell electrolysis and subsequent observations of gas-particle phase equilibria”. Logan was also awarded the Rowe Scientific Most Promising Young Scientist Award (Senior Secondary).
Research Investigations Intermediate Winner
Ms Eloise Deconinck, St Mary’s College, Hobart
“Material World – a sustainable method to break down plastic waste”. Eloise was awarded the Rowe Scientific Most Promising Young Scientist Award (Intermediate).
Research Investigations Junior Secondary Winner
Ms Emma Spurr, Kingston High School
“Effects of Temperature & Light on Lettuce Seed Germination (part 2)”. Emma was awarded the Rowe Scientific Most Promising Young Scientist Award (Junior).
30 Jan 2018
On 23 October, 2017, the following two students, chosen at random from many winners of Rowe scientific prizes, received their awards by the STAV’s Science Talent Search.
Mr Dylan Zipsin, of Viewbank College.
Dylan won his award in the Junior (Yr 7-8) Inventions section, by inventing a Smart Lock: The “ZipVault” was constructed using complex wood working knowledge as well as the advanced use of electronic components and wiring and the development of code using high levels of logical and mathematical thinking.
It was designed to give people peace of mind, knowing that their belongings were safe and out of anyone elses reach.
The box features two extra layers of security on top of the expected 6-digit pin, with already over ten million different possible combinations, requiring a magnet to turn it on, as well as for the owner to tilt the box four times, before you are confronted with the 6-digit pin.
Once you are finished, the box locks and shuts down, using no power whatsoever
Well done Dylan.
Ms Eleeza Maqsood, of Sirius College, Eastmeadows.
Eleeza won her award in the Junior (Yr 7-8) Experimental Research section, for the following project: “Does Aromatherapy essential oils vapour inhibit the growth of Escherichia Coli?”
Abstract: Stated on the internet, it has been said that essential oil aromas can help sanitize a room of bacteria. This experiment looked at the effect of the vapour of essential oils in the presence of Escherichia Coli (E. coli) bacteria. To verify this claim, essential oils were placed in plastic wells in the centre of nutrient agar plates streaked with E. coli bacteria. The plates were left in the incubator for three days and then were moved into the fridge, and the plates were analysed. The plates were examined in sections for bacterial growth, and bacterial coverage was totalled.
The results showed that the most effective oils in descending order were tea tree, eucalyptus, grapefruit, peppermint, and lavender. Only tea tree oil and grapefruit oil were significantly effective and consistent with background research claims.
Sounds like impressive work for a Junior Eleeza. Well done, from the Rowe Scientific staff.
30 Jan 2018
Ms Georgia Free, Bachelor of Science (Advanced) - Key Program: Chemistry
In Georgia's own words;
“I am a hard-working and determined individual who wants to use chemistry to better healthcare and the environment. Over the past year, I have been doing undergraduate research with potential anticancer agents, under the supervision of Janice Aldrich-Wright; focusing on synthesis and characterisation of platinum metal-ligand complexes - some of which are more cytotoxic than cisplatin!
This summer, I have received a summer scholarship with CSIRO Energy in Newcastle, and will be developing catalysts to transform carbon dioxide into usable materials, to reduce air pollution.
Receiving recognition for hard work is always a great feeling, however it is simply icing on the cake, because using chemistry to solve big problems is reward enough. Next year, I aim to study a Masters of Philosophy at Western Sydney University and this scholarship has eased a significant amount of financial burden off of my shoulders for next year. I am extremely grateful for this prestigious scholarship - and I hope to make the donors proud with my research over the next few years.”