The UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing is a competition for Year 7-10 students in Australia.
Topic: The STEM in Everyday Life
Science, technology, engineering and maths is part of everything around us, from our response to the pandemic, to the tech we use for play. Mobile phones, traffic lights and TikTok, your food, health, the climate, the built environment and the natural world around you – STEM has had a part to play in understanding, refining and creating so much of the world we take for granted everyday.
In 800 words, explain the STEM behind something that’s part of your everyday life and important to you, your family, your culture, or your region. If we didn’t have scientists, engineers and technologists, we wouldn’t have vaccines, productive crops, or algorithms that recognise your face on your phone. Discover and describe the science behind something that is directly relevant to your everyday life including why it’s important for society and to you personally.
Your 800 words essay could consist of:
– Discuss the origins of natural phenomenon you’ve experienced
– Analyse the science or engineering behind something you use everyday
– Critically evaluate the history of a scientific or technological development
References do not count towards the word count. The competition closes 5pm Friday 27 August.
The winner will be awarded a $500 UNSW Bookshop voucher. Two runners up with receive $250 book vouchers.
The winning essay will be included in the 2022 edition of NewSouth Publishing’s highly acclaimed anthology The Best Australian Science Writing, where it will appear alongside essays by some of the country’s leading science writers. It will also appear in an issue of CSIRO’s Double Helix Magazine, on CareerswithSTEM.com and on newsouthpublishing.com
Winners and runners up will get the opportunity to attend the Bragg Prize award ceremony and launch of The Best Australian Science Writing2021 in Sydney.
Thinking about entering? Get started with these resources!
The regional and city school with the most entries will win this awesome book pack from NewSouth Publishing. Simply enter as many students from your school as you can for the chance to win these books:
Flames of Extinction by John Pickrell
Plastic Free: The Inspiring Story of a Global Environmental Movement and Why It Matters by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and Joanna Atherfold Finn
Living with the Anthropocene edited by Cameron Muir, Kirsten Wehner, Jenny Newell
The Best Australian Science Writing 2021 edited by Dyani Lewis
Read the winners of the 2020 UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing:
The Bragg Prize is an annual award celebrating the best non-fiction science essay written for a general audience. An initiative of UNSW Press, UNSW Science and Refraction Media, the UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing is designed to encourage and celebrate the next generation of science writers, researchers and leaders. For an aspiring university Dean of Science or Walkley Award-winning journalist, this could be the first entry on their CV.
The Bragg Prizes are named for Australia’s very first Nobel Laureates, the father-and-son team of William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg. 2015 marked the centenary of their Nobel Prize win in Physics for their work on the X-ray analysis of crystal structures. William Henry Bragg was a firm believer in making science popular among young people. His lectures for students were described as models of clarity and intellectual excitement. More information about the Bragg prizes can be found here.
Santa Sabina College first entered the UNSW Bragg Prize in 2018 – coming away with the winning and a runner-up essay that year. We spoke to the teacher driving the school's participation about how they use the competition to challenge and enrich their gifted student cohort.