2009 Sleek Geek film comp winners announced

19 August 2009

The winners of the 2009 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize were announced last night at the 20th Anniversary Australian Museum Eureka Prize dinner.

2009 University of Sydney Sleek Geek Science Eureka Prize winners with Professor David Day, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Michael Spence
2009 University of Sydney Sleek Geek Science Eureka Prize winners with Professor David Day, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Michael Spence

At the star-studded formal dinner, attended by the country's most inspiring minds, students from Year 1 through to university level received awards for short films that make science accessible to the public.

The Eurekas, as they are fondly known, turn twenty this year, and have become the most coveted science awards in this country.

The University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize, now in it's fifth year, encourages students with a passion for science and for communicating ideas to tell a scientific story via a short video piece. The idea is to communicate a scientific concept 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, allow the public to "learn without noticing."

Students from St Therese Primary School in Mascot, NSW, won the primary school category with their touching short film, "Kiara's Gift." Inspired by the experience of year 1 student Kiara Lloyd, who was diagnosed with restrictive cardio myopathy at two and half years old, the video featured the children demonstrating how the beating heart works, by dressing up as oxygen-depleted blue blood and oxygenated red blood, mimicking the movement of the pumping blood on its journey around the body, to the lungs and back to the heart. The students won $1000 for their school.

Two students from Central Coast Grammar School took out first place in the secondary school category for their entertaining, hip-hop inspired video, "Rojo and J-Dizzles Incredible Sound Vibes." Rohan and Jordan Flemming, in Year 10 and 12, won $4000 for their short film which featured the two students rapping about science of sound.

Winning second prize in the secondary school category was Michael Huxley, a Year 11 student from St John's Grammar School in SA, with his nature documentary, "The Red-lored Whistler." Michael's video showed in extraordinary detail the progress of a nesting pair of the rare and threatened species of bird.

In third place was "Stilbopteryx Costalis and the Funnel of Doom," a short film produced by year 9 and 10 students from Gosford High School in NSW. Their video tells the story of the antlion (the larval form of the lacewing insect) as a detective mystery in which an ant called Todd is mysteriously murdered.

University category honours went to University of Sydney students Thomas McKeith and William Howarth, who won $3000 for their video, "Catalyst." The students figured the best way to demonstrate the nature of a catalyst was to invite a bunch of friends over to their house, provide them all with funny hats and watch the whole thing take off. Once the merry makers go home, the hats remain unchanged and can be recovered, just like a chemical catalyst.

The Faculty of Science would like to congratulate the winners and all participants for their effort and involvement in the competition.

Contact: Faculty of Science

Phone: 02 9351 3021

Email: 3c202f0b783b1311233a561d5d26471d505b3d0e4d4a3b24