The FameLab Academy science communication Final was held at Curtin University’s Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre on 6 September 2023. Amongst the twelve finalists, Obi Rogers from Scotch College was named the winner of FameLab Academy 2023, with Kassandra Avedikian from Mercedes College and Siofra Cashman from Sacred Heart College named runners-up.
This year, approx. 430 students from twelve Western Australian schools participated in the FameLab Academy science communication training program. Each school named a finalist, who received individual mentoring from experienced science communicators before competing in the FameLab Academy Final.
In front of a live audience comprised of students from the twelve participating schools, their teachers, FameLab Academy partners, and VIPs, the finalists demonstrated that they had researched their topics well and embraced the principles of science communication, producing informative and entertaining presentations. A wide range of topics, surprising facts, great storytelling, and humor all contributed to the Final’s high standard of science communication.
The twelve presentations were judged on FameLab’s “three Cs” – content, clarity and charisma – by the judging panel featuring Dr Kat Doughty (Associate Lecturer, School of Molecular Sciences, UWA), Diana Jones (Executive Director, Collections and Research, WA Museum), and Dr Sarah Hellewell (Research Fellow, Curtin University and The Perron Institute).
The 2023 winner and runners-up are:
- Winner: Obi Rogers (Scotch College) for his presentation The Fridge Compartment
- Runner-Up: Kassandra Avedikian (Mercedes College) for her presentation It’s Not Your Fault You Hate Veggies
- Runner-Up: Siofra Cashman (Sacred Heart College) for her presentation The Rhythmic Brain
The winner was personally awarded the prize of $1,500 as well as $1,500 for his school’s STEM program. Both runners-up were awarded $1,000 and $1000 for their schools’ STEM programs.
Before the Final, students and teachers had the opportunity to explore Curtin University through campus tours, browse a Research Expo showcasing the work of WA researchers and institutions, participate in engineering challenges, and even build their own water rocket.
Congratulations to the winner, runners-up, all exceptional finalists, as well as the teachers and schools who made FameLab Academy 2023 a huge success. The finalists were:
- Obi Rogers – Scotch College
- Anastasia Husk – Aveley Secondary College
- Christopher Cesare – John XXIII College
- Alveena Khan – Penrhos College
- Stella Schaffert – Bob Hawke College
- Darius Choo – Christ Church Grammar School
- Charli Hansen – Cunderdin District High School
- Nadia Thavaseelan – St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School
- Siofra Cashman – Sacred Heart College
- Leo Li – Shenton College
- Kassandra Avedikian – Mercedes College
- Juliet Smith – Presbyterian Ladies’ College
The Foundation for the WA Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Curtin University, the Fogarty Foundation, the McCusker Charitable Foundation, the Wellspring Foundation, the Western Australian Museum, and the Western Australian Government through the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
To view our event photo gallery, please click HERE.
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 produced by the Foundation for the WA Museum.