Two Karratha students made the most of a chance to present their science projects on the world stage earlier this year, winning silver at the 37th Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition.
Karratha high school students Joshua Lyon and Satvika Soppadandi travelled to the Competition in March as part of the Scitech Beijing Bound program supported by Rio Tinto.
The teenagers were among 10 Pilbara students who spent three months last year completing a science research project on their chosen topic, under the guidance of Rio Tinto mentors.
“Beijing Bound is a unique opportunity for these students to develop their skills in practical field work, lab work and report writing, as well as problem solving, research, networking and project management” Scitech Beijing Bound Coordinator Jess Silva said.
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“With the help of their Rio Tinto mentors, many of the Beijing Bound students produced research projects of a university level. Working closely with an industry professional really gives them the insight into a career in STEM,” she said.
15-year-old Joshua’s project studied the viability of generating tidal energy along the North West Shelf, and 16-year-old Satvika grew plants using Aeroponics, a method that uses micro mist sprayers instead of soil.
Joshua, who recently moved to Perth from Karratha and Satvika, year 11 at St Luke’s College, were awarded silver medals in their respective categories of Mathematics and Zoology.
Satvika’s hard work further paid off when she was invited to present her project at a special symposium for Chinese students during the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition.
Joshua said as a high school student the experience of winning Beijing Bound and going to China was “incredibly special because it is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
“The main thing we learned in China was to cooperate and communicate with all the different people from around the world,” he said.
Rio Tinto General Manager Communities and Communications, Linda Dawson, said she looked forward to seeing the long-term benefits for students and Rio Tinto mentors alike.
“The benefits of Beijing Bound go beyond the time students are in the program – the skills they develop, the Rio Tinto graduate mentors they meet and developing a greater understanding about a career in science will assist them in upper secondary school, tertiary education and beyond,” she said.