The University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize is offered to primary and high school students nationally. If you have a passion for science and for communicating ideas, then enter this competition by telling a scientific story via a short video piece. We’re looking for the next generation of amazing science communicators, such as Dr Karl and Adam Spencer.
The idea is to communicate a scientific concept(s) in a way that is accessible and entertaining to the public while painlessly increasing their science knowledge or, as the Sleek Geeks like to say, “learn without noticing”.
Recognised by teachers for its relevance to the primary and high school curriculum, the competition has become a staple activity in the classrooms of many schools across Australia. Every year the judges are overwhelmed by the creativity and quality of entries, and the Faculty of Science congratulates all students who participate in the competition.
Produce a film based on the 2021 theme, 'big'.
Films must be 2 minutes in duration and no longer.
Judges will make their selection based on the assessment criteria. Learn about the 2021 assessment criteria.
Films must focus on a scientific concept, discovery, invention or your own scientific hypothesis - anything goes, but keep the science in the story, and keep the science real!
There is a prize pool of $10,000 to be shared between the winning student/s and their schools.
Additional non-cash prizes to be announced in 2021.
Entries close 7pm AEST Friday 28 May 2021
Entrants are able to commence working on their films. The online entry system will open on Wednesday 24 March. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
For more information about the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize, including entry conditions and tips and tricks from past winners, please visit the Australian Museum website.
Look at your windowpane on a rainy day and you’ll almost certainly see tiny water droplets move closer together until they merge. In The Secret Life of Droplets, Himalaya uses a lively combination of song and animation to explain the science behind this phenomenon.
In Rebellious Water, Jessica and Zacharie examine why water seemingly defies the rules of chemistry. They use animation to illustrate the forces at play between water molecules, known as hydrogen bonds, and describe how this impacts the physical properties of water in its different states.
Synovial Fluid and Subatomic Particles is an investigation into how quantum effects in water help our joints move. Taking to his local sports field, Aneirin explains the important role of synovial fluid in the human body and reveals how recent scientific discoveries have transformed scientists’ understanding of how this fluid behaves.
Super Cooled Science examines how water turns into ice and explains ‘supercooling’, the process of chilling a liquid below its freezing point, without it becoming solid. Using claymation and dance, Scarlett and Scarlett illustrate the role that energy plays in this transformation and describe one of the ways supercooled water is being used by scientists.
The Leidenfrost Effect investigates what occurs when a liquid heated past its boiling point doesn’t evaporate, but instead glides across the surface it’s resting on. Levi demonstrates this effect using water droplets in a hot pan and shares a series of diagrams to explain what takes place at a molecular level.
Have you ever wondered why some bugs can walk on water? In Stretching the Tension, Clara explores the role of surface tension, revealing how water acts like an elastic membrane that stretches when forces are applied to it — just like a trampoline.
What do cosmetics, clothing and toothpaste have in common? They all contain microplastics. In Fish Fiasco, Ellie and Tsambika investigate how microplastics might end up in the ocean. They interview scientific experts, visit a wastewater treatment plant and even study fish stomach contents to uncover how society's use of plastic impacts the environment.
Neutrinos are subatomic particles that come from stars and nuclear reactions, and as Jonathan shows in Neutrinos – The Sky’s the Limit, they are all around us. Jonathan’s film uses creative multimedia techniques to reveal the implications that neutrinos have for physics and human life as a whole.
In April 2019 history was made when astronomers revealed the first ever image of a black hole. In How Was the Picture of a Black Hole Taken? Aiden and Thomas explore the physics of event horizons, the mechanics of cameras, and how Very Long Baseline Interferometry works, to understand how a black hole was imaged.
Inspired by the book Jurassic Park, Finn ponders what life would be like today if a dinosaur species were to be resurrected. In his film, Can We Bring Dinosaurs Back to Life?, Finn explores the science and biotechnology critical to this notion and explains the challenges scientists would face.
In their film, Polar Bears Need their Ice, Ice Baby, Evelyn and Lucy explain how the use of air conditioners in Australia may be damaging the habitats of polar bears. They conduct experiments to demonstrate global warming and offer practical ideas for living more sustainably.
Ella Woods and Emily Woods, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, QLD
It's estimated that two out of three people in the world are not able to consume dairy products without experiencing gut discomfort and gas. In Gas Busters, Emily and Ella explain the science behind lactose intolerance, explore its evolution and present a simple solution that allows everyone to enjoy cow's milk.
Eliza Dalziel and Claire Galvin, St Monica's College, QLD
Making A Splash examines the important role that sea cucumbers play in protecting our coral reefs. Eliza and Claire assess the potential role of the species in raising calcium carbonate levels in these fragile ecosystems, which helps to rebuild reefs, increase nutrient recycling and counteract the harmful effects of climate change.
Abby Hambleton and Owen Kelly, Warrandyte High School, VIC
Abby and Owen were stunned when they heard astronomer Carl Sagan claim that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth’s beaches. In their film Stars Beat Sand, the students put this claim to the test and are so amazed by the results, they decide to sing about it.
Amelia Lai and Caitlyn Walker, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney, NSW
It is estimated that bees pollinate one third of the food we consume each day, making them an integral part of our environment. In Bee Aware and Care, Caitlyn and Amelia explain the major causes of bee population decline and share some practical strategies for saving these important insects.
Ellie Cole and Tsambika Galanos, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney, NSW
In their film Dust Detectives, Ellie and Tsambika set out on a mission to understand the 'Tyndall effect', which explains why small dust particles are only visible in sunlight. They demonstrate how this unseen dust can end up in our lungs and, through experimentation, reveal that some chores generate more dust than others.
Manure You Know - Eliza Dalziel, Claire Galvin, Georgia Hannah and Anna Hardy, St Monica's College, QLD
One Small Step for a Cat - Josh Langman, Westminster School, SA
Third place: Dream On - Meg Paterson, The Scots School Albury, NSW
Cold But Toasty Warm – Amelia Lai and Caitlyn Walker, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney, NSW
A Portrait of a Serial Killer - Charlie Carroll, Brayden Eyles and Lachlan Ginger, Oxford Falls Grammar School, NSW
Owl Pellets: A Postal System to Scientists by Claire Galvin and Anna Hardy from St Monica's College Cairns, QLD
No Place for Race by Tom Downie and Harry Bebbington from Warrandyte High School, VIC
Sniffles by Meg Paterson from The Scots School Albury, NSW
The Secret of the Appendix by Paige Bebee from Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School, VIC
Why are Concussions Bad for You? by Luke Cadorin-Taylor from St Aloysius' College, NSW
Gravity Sucks by Tom Downie and Harry Bebbington from Warrandyte High School, VIC
Cry Stoppers by Georgia (Gigi) Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School, QLD
Why is Seaweed Brown? by William Martin from Trinity Grammar Junior School, NSW
Phantom Limbs by Jackson Huang from Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology, QLD
Epigenetics by Jackson McDonald from Varsity College, QLD
The Mystery of Lichen by Mikali Anagnostis from St Philip's Christian College, NSW
The Spectacular Spider by Brandon Gifford from Casino High School, NSW
The Stories in the Rock by Alex Jaeger from Mornington Secondary College, VIC
Proving Charles' Law by Brandon Conway-Rusk from Devonport High School, TAS
What is Friction? by Nathan Gori, Reuben Shepherd, Billy McLeod, Jack Dougall and Sacha Balme from Beauty Point Public School, NSW
Splendid Steam by Kezia Sanders and Lucas Trewin from St Joan of Arc Primary School, VIC
WINNER: The Legendary Lizard by Brandon Gifford (Year 11) from Casino High School, NSW
Second place: Natural Selection: It's Pretty Random by Greer Clarke (Year 10) from All Hallows' School, QLD
Third place: The Colour of Water by Martin de Rooy Year 11) from Pimlico State High School, QLD
Finalists with Adam Spencer and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki at the University of Sydney campus. L-R: Iggy Fox, Luca Pona, Martin de Rooy, Adam Spencer, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Brandon Gifford, Greer Clarke
2010 Sleek Geek film comp winner in the Primary School category, Lily Colmer, with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Professor Trevor Hambley (Dean of Science), and Dr Michael Spence (Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney)
2010 Sleek Geek film comp winners with Professor Trevor Hambley (Dean of Science), Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, and Dr Michael Spence (Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney)
2009 Sleek Geek film comp winners with Professor David Day, Dean of Science, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, and Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney
2008 Sleek Geek Finalists with Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Julius Sumner Miller Fellow and Professor David Day, Dean of Science
2007 Sleek Geek Finalists with Professor David Day, Dean of Science, and Professor Gavin Brown, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Sleek Geeks 2006 - Budding science communicators with the University of Sydney’s Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dean of Science, Professor David Day