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    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Queensland students soar at science competition

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Queensland students soar at science competition

    Queensland school students have won a host of major awards in a national science competition to promote rewarding and exciting careers in science and agriculture.

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said 43 students and 15 schools were presented with awards today at the 2018 Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Hermitage Research Facility Schools Plant Science Competition’s Awards Day and Agricultural Science Expo at Warwick.

    “There is great interest in learning about drones in agriculture and Queensland school students have performed outstandingly well to shine in this competition which attracts significant national interest,” Minister Furner said.

    “This year, almost 3500 students, from years prep to 12, representing 164 schools submitted 230 high-quality science and art entries so standing out from the crowd is a fantastic achievement.

    “All winners deserve congratulations particularly Senior Science Award winner Ria Biscocho of Centenary Heights State School, Junior Science Achievement Award winner Michelle Springolo from the Groves Christian college of Distance Education and Outstanding Achievement Award winners Shiloh Evans from the Faith Christian School of Distance Education and Jessica Ziebell from Biddeston State School.

    “Given the high level of enthusiasm and effort shown in their entries, I am sure the winners will make the most of their well-earned prizes.”

    Mr Furner said this year’s competition theme, ‘Game of Drones’, focused on drones and new technologies in agriculture.

    “Entries showed students’ ability to perform digital image analysis, program drones, perform research into how Australian farmers are using drones in agriculture and report on the importance of emerging digital technologies in developing countries,” Mr Furner said.  

    “Students were asked to perform a planting experiment and record plant growth using digital photography and image analysis software.

    “Simple coding programs were also used to simulate a drone flight path to detect various targets and disease infected crops within images.

    “In line with the 2018 National Science Week theme for students, ‘Game Changers and Change Makers’, young artists put their creative talents to the test for the Art in Agriculture section by designing new age drones capable of being the next big game changer for the future of agriculture.”

    Mr Furner said the quality of entries was a positive sign that that the future of science and agriculture was in good hands.

    “There is no doubt that agriculture is a tough industry that has overcome many challenges it has faced in the past and continues to face,” Mr Furner said.

    “Science and technology can be harnessed to benefit the agriculture industry and as students have discovered this year, producers are already seeing the benefits of drones to their farming operations.

    “With the global drone industry estimated to be worth US$100 billion by 2020, there is no denying the value of drones to precision agriculture.

    “I commend all who participated in the competition and those who supported it including major sponsor the Grains Research and Development Corporation and associate sponsor the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges.”

    The following Queensland schools won major science and art prizes:

    • Centenary Heights State High School
    • Glasshouse Christian College
    • Nambour Christian College
    • Faith Christian School of Distance Education
    • Fairholme College Toowoomba
    • Groves Christian College of Distance Education
    • Toowoomba Grammar School
    • Bremer State High School
    • Fernbrooke State School
    • Noosaville State School
    • Rockhampton Grammar School
    • Pilton State School
    • Biddeston State School
    • Jandowae P-10 State School
    • Calliope State School

    Details of all winners can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website, www.daf.qld.gov.au/hermitage-competition , or by calling 13 25 23.

    Follow Queensland Agriculture on Facebook and Twitter (@QldAgriculture).

    ENDS 

    Media – Tim Auguston 0417 768 626