The FameLab Academy science communication finals were held in the State Theatre Centre’s Heath Ledger Theatre on 20 September 2022. Amongst finalists from nine participating schools, Lucy Ward -Dickson from Mercedes College was named the winner of the audience vote and the overall winner of FameLab Academy 2022, with Megan Cardenas from Bob Hawke College announced as the first runner-up, and Hayley Cavanagh from Sacred Heart College as the second runner-up.
In 2022, 530 students from nine Western Australian schools participated in the FameLab Academy science communication program. Each school named a finalist, who received individual mentoring from experienced science communicators before competing in the FameLab Academy Finals.
In front of a live audience comprised of students from the nine participating schools, their teachers, FameLab Academy partners and VIPs, the nine finalists all excelled at researching their topic and embraced the principles of science communication, producing informative and entertaining presentations. Provocative topics, interesting facts, great storytelling and humor made all the finalists’ presentations exceptional.
Their presentations were judged on FameLab’s “three Cs” – content, clarity and charisma – by the judging panel featuring Professor Kate Trinajstic (recipient of the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year), Dr Kenny Travouillon, the Curator of Mammalogy at the WA Museum and expert in terrestrial zoology, and Dr Glenn Moore, Curator of Fishes at the WA Museum and Adjunct Research Fellow, UWA.
The high standard of presentations made the judges’ decisions difficult but, after deliberations, the 2022 winners were announced:
- Winner: Lucy Ward-Dickson (Mercedes College) for her presentation Why do we dream?
- 1st Runner Up: Megan Cardenas (Bob Hawke College) for her presentation Curing an infection with an infection
- 2nd Runner Up: Hayley Cavanagh (Sacred Heart College) for her presentation Nature versus nurture
- Audience Vote: Lucy Ward-Dickson (Mercedes College) for her presentation Why do we dream?
The winner was personally awarded the prize of $1,500 as well as $1,500 for her school’s STEM program, and also received $500 and $500 for her school’s STEM program as the winner of the audience vote. Both runners up were awarded $1,000 and $1000 for their schools’ STEM programs.
Congratulations to the winners, the nine exceptional finalists, as well as the teachers and schools who made FameLab Academy 2022 a huge success:
- Lucy Ward-Dickson – Mercedes College
- Joy Cho – Perth College
- Elise Wright – Presbyterian Ladies’ College
- Megan Cardenas – Bob Hawke College
- Ethan Buzza – Scotch College
- Poppy Hartfield – John XXIII College
- Leyla Do – Newman College
- Hayley Cavanagh – Sacred Heart College
- Adele Stegink – Perth Modern School
The Foundation for the WA Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Fogarty Foundation, the McCusker Charitable Foundation, the Western Australian Government through the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and the WA Museum. The University of Western Australia’s Dr Heather Bray donated her time and expertise to create the Teacher Training Workshops and host the FameLab Academy Finals.
About FameLab Academy
FameLab Academy is the sister competition to FameLab, Cheltenham Festivals’ world-leading science communication competition which discovers, trains and promotes the best new voices in science, technology, engineering and maths. FameLab Academy is the schools version, and was created to develop young people (aged 14-15) as science communicators by increasing their scientific knowledge, and building their confidence and communication skills.
FameLab Academy aims to develop students’ skill and confidence in communicating science; increase students’ understanding of the value and relevance of science in everyday life; raise awareness of the breadth of STEM careers available to young people; and build networks of and between teachers and STEM professionals. Equipped with training for participating teachers and resources for student workshops, teachers support students to research, write and present a three-minute talk on a STEM subject of their choice. They are judged on the content, clarity and charisma of their presentations. These are known as FameLab’s three C’s.
In Australia, FameLab and FameLab Academy are hosted by the Foundation for the WA Museum.
To view our event photo gallery, please click HERE.