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Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prizes

Video competition for primary and secondary school students
Become the next generation of Dr Karl and Adam Spencer by telling a scientific story.

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.

Entries now open for Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prizes 2022!

Entries to the 2022 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize are now open to students across Australia and its territories, with children that are homeschooled in accordance with the relevant state or territory legislation also eligible to enter.

The theme for 2022 is 'Change'. Visit the Australian Museum Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for details regarding Assessment Criteria; Conditions of Entry; Prize Information; Resources; and How to Enter.

Entry Deadline, 7pm AEST Friday 6 May. Late entries will not be accepted.

 

Past winners and videos

Secondary school category

WINNER:

Jonathan D., Townsville Grammar School, QLD

In Rewilding Earth, Jonathan discusses the implications of climate change and investigates how enhancing biodiversity could help address this pressing issue. Through a series of interviews, he shares community concerns about the future of climate change then draws on research to explain the process of rewilding.

Second place:

Sonya R., Eltham High School, VIC

Have you ever contemplated what life would be like on Mars? In How to Get to Mars - A Big Question, Sonya uses clay modelling to explore a series of obstacles that humans would need to overcome before they could live on the Red Planet and proposes some practical solutions for each.

Third place:

Isaac N., Ethan P., Reuben R, and Alex S., Willetton Seniort School, WA

The square-cube law states that as an object increases in size, its mass grows at a faster rate than its surface area. After considering whether it would be possible for Godzilla to exist, Isaac, Ethan, Reuben and Alex apply this principle to explore how large an animal could realistically get. Their film Square-Cube Law is a comprehensive presentation of the group’s findings.

Primary school category

WINNER:

Scarlett O. and Scarlett P., Oak Flats Public School, NSW

If a super volcano erupted, the impacts would be widespread and catastrophic. In their film Super Volcanoes, Scarlett and Scarlett demonstrate the science behind these high magnitude eruptions and explain how they could be used as a source of power, providing green energy for future generations.

Second place:

Zara M., PLC Sydney, NSW

Big Problem: Coral Bleaching is an entertaining investigation into one of the most widespread issues affecting coral reefs. Inspired by her passion for the ocean, Zara sets out to educate viewers on some of the main causes of coral bleaching, the scientific process behind it and ways that everyone can work together to help minimise the issue.

Third place:

Leon H., St Andrew's Cathedral School, NSW

A self-proclaimed car enthusiast, Leon was fascinated by how his tiny toy cars defied gravity and travelled upside down around a loop track without falling to the floor. In Tour de Force, he uses a delightful combination of demonstrations, illustration and performance to examine the role of centripetal force in this natural phenomenon.

All finalists

Watch the videos of all finalists

Secondary school category

WINNER:

HImalaya J., Balwyn High School, VIC

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.

Second place:

Jessica N. and Zacharie N., St Matthews Catholic School, NSW

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.

Third place:

Aneirin G., St Leonard's College, VIC

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.

Primary school category

WINNER:

Scarlett P. and Scarlett O., Oak Flats Primary School, NSW

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.

Second place:

Levi S., Norwood Primary School, TAS

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.

Third place:

Clara P., Maribyrnong Primary School, ACT

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.

All finalists

Watch the videos of all finalists

 

Secondary school category

WINNER:

Ellie Cole and Tsambika Galanos, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney, NSW

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.

Second place:

Jonathan Davis, Townsville Grammar School, QLD

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.

Third place:

Aiden Irving and Thomas Lovell, Oakhill College, NSW

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.

Primary school category

WINNER:

Finn Thomas, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Concord, NSW

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.

Second place:

Evelyn Cahill and Lucy Carlisle, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney, NSW

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.

All finalists

Watch the videos of all finalists

Secondary school category

WINNER:

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.

Second place:

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.

Third place:

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.

Primary school category

WINNER:

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.

Second place:

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.

All finalists

Watch the videos of all finalists

2017 Winners

Secondary school category

WINNER:

Manure You Know - Eliza Dalziel, Claire Galvin, Georgia Hannah and Anna Hardy, St Monica's College, QLD

Second place:

One Small Step for a Cat - Josh Langman, Westminster School, SA

Third place: Dream On - Meg Paterson, The Scots School Albury, NSW

Primary school category

WINNER:

Cold But Toasty Warm – Amelia Lai and Caitlyn Walker, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney, NSW

Second place:

A Portrait of a Serial Killer - Charlie Carroll, Brayden Eyles and Lachlan Ginger, Oxford Falls Grammar School, NSW

All finalists

Watch the videos of all finalists.

2016 Winners

Secondary school category

WINNER:
Owl Pellets: A Postal System to Scientists by Claire Galvin and Anna Hardy from St Monica's College Cairns, QLD

Second place:
No Place for Race by Tom Downie and Harry Bebbington from Warrandyte High School, VIC

Third place:
Sniffles by Meg Paterson from The Scots School Albury, NSW

Primary school category

WINNER:
The Bluebottle and the Glaucus by Hayden Ingle from Banksmeadow Public School, NSW

Second place:
Seeing Red by Rosanna Cartwright and Elli Rugg from Santa Sabina College, NSW

All finalists

Watch the videos of all finalists.

2015 Winners

Secondary school category

WINNER:
The Secret of the Appendix by Paige Bebee from Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School, VIC

Second place:
Why are Concussions Bad for You? by Luke Cadorin-Taylor from St Aloysius' College, NSW

Third place:
Gravity Sucks by Tom Downie and Harry Bebbington from Warrandyte High School, VIC

Primary school category

WINNER:
Cry Stoppers by Georgia (Gigi) Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School, QLD

Second place:
Why is Seaweed Brown? by William Martin from Trinity Grammar Junior School, NSW

All finalists

WATCH THE VIDEOS OF ALL FINALISTS

2014 Winners

Secondary school category

WINNER:
Phantom Limbs by Jackson Huang from Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology, QLD

Second place:
Epigenetics by Jackson McDonald from Varsity College, QLD

Third place:
The Mystery of Lichen by Mikali Anagnostis from St Philip's Christian College, NSW

Primary school category

WINNER:
The Sound of Music by Harry Driessen, Croydon Public School, NSW

Second place:
What Colour is a Tree in the Dark by Ella Cuthbert from Majura Primary, ACT

All finalists

WATCH THE VIDEOS OF ALL FINALISTS

2013 Winners

Secondary school category

WINNER:
The Spectacular Spider by Brandon Gifford from Casino High School, NSW

Second place:
The Stories in the Rock by Alex Jaeger from Mornington Secondary College, VIC

Third place:
Proving Charles' Law by Brandon Conway-Rusk from Devonport High School, TAS

Primary school category

WINNER:
What is Friction? by Nathan Gori, Reuben Shepherd, Billy McLeod, Jack Dougall and Sacha Balme from Beauty Point Public School, NSW

Second place:
Splendid Steam by Kezia Sanders and Lucas Trewin from St Joan of Arc Primary School, VIC


WATCH THE FINALIST VIDEOS

2012 Winners

Secondary school category

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

Primary school category

WINNER: Egg-normous! by Iggy Fox (Year 5) from Oyster Bay Public School, NSW

Second place: Generation Trash by Luca Pona (Year 6) from Neutral Bay Public School, NSW

2012 Sleek Geeks Film Comp Finalists

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

2011 Winners

Watch the 2011 prize finalist movies

Secondary school category

  • Winner: The sensational snake by Brandon Gifford from Casino Christian School, NSW
  • Second place: Neuroplasticity by Jack McDonald from Varsity College, QLD
  • Third place: Hail, hail hydrogen! by Sean Anderson, Raimon Barragans, Steven Lowry, Eliza Malerba and Cassie Roberts from Warrandyte High School Environment Club, VIC

Primary school category

  • Winner: The life cycle of a stick insect by Anastasia Kennett from Croydon Public School, NSW
  • Second place: Why the fish could not cross the road by Jack Allan, Bodhi Genis, Emile Scheffers, Yanik Scheffers, Acacia Smith and Jules Tait from Wilsons Creek Public School, NSW

WATCH: 2011 Competition winners featured on ABC's Catalyst

Eureka Prize Catalyst video

2010 Winners

Watch the 2010 prize finalist movies

Secondary school category

  • Winner: Rontgen: A Bright Spark by Betty Cheregi, Matt Dalla Rosa, Paul Dalla Rosa, Steven Megaloudis, Byron Mihailides and Evan Raif (Year 11) from St Helena Secondary College, VIC
  • Second place: The Incredible Feather by Brandon Gifford (Year 9) from Casino Christian School, NSW
  • Third place: A Timely Intervention by Emilio Pace, Chris Daniels, David Waters and Milan Dobrijevis (Year 11) from St Peter's College, SA

Primary school category

  • Winner: Can You Hear the Music? by Lily Colmer (Year 7) from Albany Hills State School, QLD

2010 Sleek Geek film comp winner in the Primary School category, Lily Colmer, with Dr Karl Kruszelni

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 Kruszelni

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 Winners

Watch the 2009 prize finalist movies

University category

  • Winner: Catalyst, by Thomas McKeith and William Howarth from the University of Sydney, NSW

Secondary school category

  • Winner: Rojo and J-Dizzles Incredible Sound Vibes, by Jordan Fleming (Year 12) and Rohan Fleming (Year 10) from Central Coast Grammar School, NSW
  • Second place: The Red-lored Whistler, by Michael Huxley (Year 11) from St John's Grammar School, SA
  • Third place: Stilbopteryx Costalis and the Funnel of Doom, by Ariana McCauley, Alison Clark, Bayden Allen, Thomas Roberts, Roger Zhao (Years 9 and 10) from Gosford High School, NSW

Primary school category

  • Winner: Kiara's Gift, by Emma Gale, Michael Metters, Ava Atzemis, Dylan Lycari, Katherine Hakiim, Kiara Lloyd (Year 1-6) from St Therese Primary School, NSW

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2009 Sleek Geek film comp winners with Professor David Day, Dean of Science, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, a

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 Winners

Watch the 2008 prize finalist movies
2008 Sleek Geek finalists on ABC-TV's Catalyst

University category

  • Winner: A Fundamental Misunderstanding, by Michael van Drempt from the University of Sydney, NSW

Secondary school category

  • Winner: The Copernican System, by Mitchell Connolly from Melbourne High School, VIC
  • 2nd Place: Neurotic - A film about brain messages, by Nicole Matouk, Ada Jin, Madeleine Cowell & Sarah Young from Conservatorium High School, NSW
  • 3rd Place: Fractious Friction, by Bayden Allen, Tobias Jackson, Tom Roberts, Daniel Barnaby & Kaleah Balcomb from Gosford High School, NSW

Primary school category

  • Winner: Eureka!, by Tom Bird, Cally-Rose Ware, Alex Ridge & Madison Walker from Table Cape Primary School, TAS
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: What?! A mountain blows its top off? by Aydin Neighbour from St Finbarr's Catholic Primary School, NSW

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2008 Sleek Geek Finalists

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 Winners

Watch the 2007 prize finalist movies

  • 1st Place: Alchemy: The Golden Age, by Tyler Stewart from Melbourne High School and Billy McNiece, St Michael's Grammar School, VIC
  • 2nd Place: Zac's Motion Picture, by Nicholas Dyer from Shenton College, WA
  • 3rd Place: Meiosis: The Chromosomal Wonderdance, by Annie Zheng and Genevieve Martin from Kilvington Girls' Grammar School, VIC
  • 4th Place: The Periodic Playground, by Jane Hawkey, Caitlin Henderson, Megan Betz, Jessica Gay, Felicity Kelson and Jasmine Sunely from Bacchus Marsh Grammar School, VIC

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2007 Sleek Geek Finalists

2007 Sleek Geek Finalists with Professor David Day, Dean of Science, and Professor Gavin Brown, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney

2006 Winners

Watch the 2006 prize finalist movies

  • 1st Place: Moles, by Kartika Suharto-Martin, Joanna Brooke and Rosa Gollan from Conservatorium High School of Music, NSW
  • 2nd Place: A Brief History of Light, by Kaleah Balcomb, Hannah Butler, Matthew Wardrop, Laura Cavanagh and Jonathan Woodbury from Gosford High School, NSW
  • 3rd Place: Inertia, the Musical, by Maddie Finnigan and Lizzy Finnigan from Northern Beaches Christian School, NSW
  • 4th Place: Nanosamurai Defense, by Alex Lee-Rekers, Olivia Jablonski and Thomas Marr from Conservatorium High School of Music, NSW

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Sleek Geeks 2006

Sleek Geeks 2006 - Budding science communicators with the University of Sydney’s Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dean of Science, Professor David Day