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Big Ideas Winner - 2021

Today's students, tomorrow's Big Ideas 

9 teams of students from around Australia have been announced as the winners of ANSTO’s annual ‘Big Ideas’ competition aimed at promoting science and innovation in our schools. 

The prestigious, national competition is Australia’s most authentic science experience and is open to all secondary school students. 

Watch the video

The Big Ideas challenge requires students to investigate a major scientific discovery by an Australian scientist that inspires them, before creating a short video that summarises the study. However, the next part is more complex, the students need to take the inspirational work of their chosen scientist and build upon it to create their Big Idea.  

ANSTO’s National Education and Engagement Manager, Rod Dowler, congratulated all the students for their hard work, understanding of the projects they presented, and for their amazing ‘Big Ideas’. 

“A huge congratulations to the students for displaying an exceptional understanding of complex problems and issues far beyond their current level of education,” Mr Dowler said. 

“Their intelligence and insight are proof the future of scientific discovery and innovation in Australia is in safe hands.” 

The students and their teacher have won a trip to either ANSTO’s headquarters in Sydney or ANSTO’s Synchrotron in Melbourne for an intensive science experience, where they’ll spend their time at some of the most advanced scientific facilities in the country. 

Students will have the opportunity to engage with the nation’s top-scientists, as well as receiving valuable training in innovation and design thinking techniques with a goal of taking their Big Idea and turning it into a reality  

The Big Ideas experience in Sydney or Melbourne provides a deep insight into the wonderful opportunities involved in a STEM-based career. “We know that having interactions with some of Australia’s best scientists and engineers will provide many of the 2021 students with an experience that will change the course of their life,” Mr Dowler said.    

While we celebrate these award winners, the search is now on for the “Big Ideas 2022”. Register your interest

Big Ideas Competition - In the media

Noosa Today coverage

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader coverage

Big Ideas Competition Winners

Noosa District SHS - Anouk Betterridge and Stephanie Hurst 

The Cathedral College  - Alannah Tigne and Nicola Hutchinson

Mary MacKillop College -  Jamie Siggurs and Junyi Lin

Gymea Technology High School - Alexe Usher and Tahlia Mclellan

Cumberland High School - Rebecca Edmonds & Sonya Duke 

Cherrybrook Technology High School Krish Nair and Eesha Shah

Menai High School & Woonoona HS -  Marieta Van der Merwe and Oneli Ruberu 

Islamic College of Brisbane - Tashfeen Parvej and Abdullah Dawood

Pymble Ladies' College - Evelyn Zhu and Olivia Blayney


Contact the ANSTO Education team for any questions about the Big Ideas Competition.