Karratha student wins gold at Beijing youth science competition

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Violette Otto from Karratha Senior High School and Shona Kiely from St Mary MacKillop College, in Beijing.
Camera IconViolette Otto from Karratha Senior High School and Shona Kiely from St Mary MacKillop College, in Beijing. Credit: Scitech

A Karratha Senior High School student’s project on the biggest livestock contributors of methane and the impact it has on global warming has won gold at an international science competition.

Violette Otto was one of two WA students chosen to compete at the 39th Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition from March 23 to 26 after winning the annual Scitech and Rio Tinto Beijing Boundcompetition last year.

The Year 11 student entered in the Environmental Science and Engineering category and had to explain her project to a panel of judges and more than 300 international students and scientists, vying for five gold and five silver medals.

Miss Otto said the trip gave her the chance to express the importance of her project.

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“The opportunity was amazing and I got to have so many refreshing conversations that I don’t get to have in Karratha,” she said.

“I got to meet so many people that think in different ways and really extend my science knowledge.”

Her project investigated the relationship between livestock and global warming by exploring the methane production from the manure of horses, sheep and grain and grass-fed cows.

“I found grain-fed cows produced the highest amount of methane and from this I was able to come up with three different pathways for future approaches,” she said.

“One was going vegetarian or vegan, while the second was to switch to the lowest contributors which was sheep or grass-fed cows.”

“The last was using the methane gas for heating homes and electricity and using the manure as a building material in Third World countries.”

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