Cooroy school among winners in plant science competition

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh congratulated Queensland’s young weed investigators when he presented the awards for this year’s Schools Plant Science Competition at Hermitage Research Station near Warwick today.
Gin Gin State High School took out the top prize for the second year in a row in the annual competition which started in 1997.
Mr McVeigh said its aim was to spark an interest in science and agriculture in young people.
“We want to promote the agricultural sector as a career of choice for young Queenslanders with an interest in farming life,” Mr McVeigh said.
“This has helped thousands of students across Australia to gain a better understanding of agriculture and crop science.”
Competition topics relate to research carried out at the Hermitage Research Facility with Education Queensland ensuring the topics and tasks match the new National Curriculum.
This year’s theme was “What makes a weed a weed?”
Competition organiser Kerrie Rubie, from the Hermitage Research Facility, said tasks included performing a soil weed seed bank experiment, undertaking a weeds survey in the school grounds or local area, making a weed herbarium and taking a closer look at how weed seeds were dispersed.
“Primary school students also created their own weeds from pressed plant parts in the ‘art competition’ section while older students designed a weed themed trumps card game,” Ms Rubie said.
“Senior students presented their weeds research and outcomes in a scientific poster.”
Gin Gin State High School, Kepnock State High School, Townsville Central State School, Westside Christian College, Freestone State School, Cooroy State School, Pilton State School, Biddeston State School and Murray’s Bridge State School were awarded major prizes at the ceremony today.
The top prize was the Paul Johnston Memorial Senior Science Award which was won by year 12 winner Ella Wherritt of Gin Gin State High School for the second year running.
Ella received another part scholarship award of $1,000 from the Paul Johnston Memorial Trust which means she now has $2,000 for the purchase of reference materials for her first year of tertiary education.
One of the youngest competitors, Year 2 student Tanya Sinha from the Westside Christian College in Brisbane has also done well, securing another Joe Baker Outstanding Achievement Award for the second year in a row.
Mr McVeigh said the competition was an important part of increasing young peoples’ awareness and interest in agriculture and congratulated the winners.
Results: 2012 Hermitage Research Facility Schools Plant Science Competition 
This year 47 schools from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory registere d. The competition also attracted international interest from a school in England.
Years 11-12
• Paul Johnston Memorial Senior Science Award Winner – Ella Wherritt (year 12, Gin Gin State High School)
• Encouragement Awards – Aaron Adcock and Dhugald Snow (year 12, Ipswich Grammar School)
Years 7-10
• AIA Junior Achievement Award Winner – Caitlyn Scott (year 10, Kepnock State High School)
• Joe Baker Outstanding Achievement Award – Townsville Central State School (year 7)
• Highly Commended Awards – Jordan Agius and Jack Purnell-Webb (year 10, Kepnock State High School); & Jake Mauch, Lachlan McVeigh and Ashleigh Thompson (year 7, Freestone State School)
• Overall First – Townsville Central State School (year 7)
• Overall Second – Kepnock High State School (year 10)
• Overall Third – Freestone State School (year 7)
• Encouragement Award – Killarney Stat e School (year 9/10)
Years 3-6 
• Joe Baker Outstanding Achievement Award – Charlie-Anne Pope, Rosie Small and Samuel Bouzanquet (year 5, Cooroy State School) 
• Highly Commended – Edison Manuel and Jez Underwood (year 5, Cooroy State School); & Daniel McVeigh (year 4, Freestone State School)
• Overall First – Murray’s Bridge State School (years 3-6)
• Overall Second – Pilton State School (years 3-7)
• Overall Third – Townsville Central State School (year 5)
• Encouragement award – Biddeston State School (year 3/4); Amber Briggs, Jorjah Walker and Martin Shaw (year 6, Monogorilby State School); & Bethany Mauch and Clare Ramsay (year 4, Freestone State School)
Years Prep-2
• Joe Baker Outstanding Achievement Award – Tanya Sinha (Year 2, Westside Christian College, Goodna)
• Highly Commended – Ruby Noller (year 2) and Jacob Morgan (year 1) Pilton State School; &a mp; Molly Weedon (year 2) and Harrison Moffitt (year 2) Biddeston State School
• Overall First – Pilton State School (years P-2)
• Overall Second – Biddeston State School (years P-4)
Art Competition years Prep-6 
• Year P Winner – Darcy Noller (Pilton State School)
• Year P Highly Commended – Jessica Thornton (Pilton State School)
• Year 1 Winner – William Butler (Pilton State School)
• Year 1 Highly Commended – Morgan Larter (Pilton State School)
• Year 2 Winner – Ruby Noller (Pilton State School)
• Year 2 Highly Commended – Georgie Bruntflett (Pilton State School)
• Year 3 Winner – Aiden Ma (Murray’s Bridge State School)
• Year 3 Highly Commended – Christopher Watson (Biddeston State School)
• Year 4 Winner – Billy-Rose Bluntflett (Pilton State School)
• Year 4 Highly Commended – Lachlan Boal (Murray’s Bridge State School)
• Year 5 Winner – Jez Underwood & Edison Manuel (Cooroy State School) 
• Year 5 Highly Commended – Tom Sollars (Freestone State School)
• Year 6 Winner – Tyler O’Neil & Jai Coker (Birkdale South State School)
• Year 6 Highly Commended – Emily Cox, Ashleigh Stevens-Beatson & Lucy Allan (Birkdale South State School)
• Year 7 Highly Commended – Paige Owen (Pilton State School).