Karratha student Beijing-bound after win

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Scitech STEM careers co-ordinator Hannah Hilbert-Wolf and Beijing Bound winner Violette Otto, 15.
Camera IconScitech STEM careers co-ordinator Hannah Hilbert-Wolf and Beijing Bound winner Violette Otto, 15. Credit: Pilbara News, Shannon Beattie

A Karratha Senior High School student is heading to China, having won Scitech and Rio Tinto’s annual Beijing Bound competition.

Year 10 student Violette Otto was one of four students from KSHS and St Luke’s College who presented a science research project to a panel of judges last week.

Over five months, the students were paired with a Rio Tinto mentor and carried out a scientific research plan, wrote a literature review and report, and delivered their presentations.

Violette’s project, which explored the effects of methane on global warming and identified the largest local livestock contributor, was deemed the best thought-through and she will travel to Beijing for the Youth Science Creation Competition in March.

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Violette’s project involved filling balloons and bottles with manure and measuring how much methane gas was released.

Ultimately, grain-fed cattle were found to be the highest producers of gas.

“I’m still processing that I won, I wasn’t expecting (to),” she said.

Scitech STEM careers co-ordinator Hannah Hilbert-Wolf said the students made it hard for the judges because all their projects were very impressive but ultimately the judging panel took two main things into consideration.

“Firstly how did the student communicate the science?” she said.

“From just watching the presentation, did we understand the why, the what and the outcome?

“Secondly they looked at the experimental design — did they identify the different components of a strong research project?

“We had projects about water, sustainability, the environment and climate change, so it was an opportunity to combine a concern they have with their passion for science.”

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