Illalong News

  • 2nd April, 2019

Banjo's Science Club

This term, Mrs Robyn Dewar, the Science Ambassadors – Sascha Lawton, Amir Zabihi, Samuel Voss, and Emily Thomas – along with the help of our crafty Science Technician, Ms Liz Lee, started working together to encourage high school students from all year levels and classes to meet up and share a passion for science. We have designated ourselves ‘Banjo’s Science Club’, and we have been meeting weekly over lunch to run various science challenges for students in Years 7-12.

Banjo’s Science Club is opportunity to:

  1. Develop confidence in science and ask science questions.
  2. Develop inquiry and investigative skills.
  3. Engage in science competitions at club level or a competition outside of the College.
  4. Practice in preparation for competitions or run an interesting project to be submitted to a competition, eg titration, crystal growing, practical investigation relevant to a topic of interest.
  5. Share a passion and enthusiasm for science in a friendly, comfortable, safe and fun environment.

Some examples of activities we engaged in this term include; growing various types of beautiful crystals, designing the fastest balloon racer, building the highest voltage battery using various metals and fruits, and building a vehicle that will protect an Eggnaut from the perils of re-entry into our atmosphere.

Some prize winners from our weekly competitions this term include:

  1. Fastest Balloon Racer: Aryab Jung Shah, Year 7
  2. Epsom Salt Crystal -Largest: Andy Chen, Year 7
  3. Epsom Salt Crystal -Best Colour: Gabriella Alfieri, Year 11
  4. Epsom Salt Crystal -Most Unique: Kalyani Vijayan, Year 8
  5. Epsom Salt Crystal - Greatest Clarity: Parker Britton, Year 11
  6. Copper Sulphate Crystal - Coolest Design: Michaela Wilson, Year 12
  7. Copper Sulphate Crystal – Best Clarity: Greta Littlely, Year 12
  8. Copper Sulphate Crystal – Largest Crystal: Rihanna Webster, Year 11
  9. Epsom Salt Crystal -Most Growth from Seed: Parker Britton, Year 11
  10. Copper Sulphate Crystal – Most Original: Andy Chen, Year 7
  11. Highest Voltage Battery: Tyson Powis, Year 8
  12. Best Eggnaut Design: Hunter O’Hara, Year 7

Crystal growing competitions were the most popular with well over 40 entries this term.

Students wishing to be more competitive with crystal growing, are invited to consider entering the RACI Crystal Growing Competition which will start at the beginning of Term 2, and crystals will be monitored and grow over 10 weeks. Entrants will receive support from the Science Ambassadors and Mrs Dewar weekly and resources will be provided. More information about the competition can be found at: https://www.raci.org.au/branches/qld-schools/crystal-growing-competition

Students who are interested are encouraged to email their expression of interest with the name of the competition (Crystal Growing Competition) in the subject line of your email, to Mrs Dewar at: rdewar@abpat.qld.edu.au

If you would like to enter some other science competitions instead or in addition to the crystal growing competition, there are a few other competitions that we will be helping and supporting students to compete in this year.

These competitions include:

  1. STAQ Science Competition – This competition is open to students in Years 7-12. There are over $12,000 in prizes to be awarded this year and various categories to enter. More information about this competition, can be found at: http://www.staq.qld.edu.au/competitions/queensland-science-contest/
  2. Griffith University Science Competition – This competition is open to students in Years 7-12. More information about this competition can be found at: https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/events/event/53747
  3. RACI Titration Competition – This competition is open to students taking Chemistry in Years 10-12. Information about the competition can be found at: https://www.raci.org.au/branches/qld-schools/titration-competition

Students who are interested in the above competitions are invited to email their expression of interest with the name of the competition in the subject line of your email to: rdewar@abpat.qld.edu.au

There are other competitions that are happening for Queensland science students this year in addition to the ones noted above. Please go to the following site to find out more information:


Students interested in science competitions other than the four noted above are asked to ask Mrs Dewar for consideration.

On behalf of myself and the Science Ambassadors, we hope that you will be able to join us for some more fun next term.

Robyn Dewar – Science Teacher


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